Value of Korean Base Oils Stays High

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Value of Korean Base Oils Stays High

South Korea exported a smaller volume of base oils but with a higher declared export value in August, compared to the same month last year, suggesting the impacts of higher base oil prices continue.

The country exported 339,230 metric tons of base oil in August, an 11% decline from 380,950 tons in the same month last year. This was the second-lowest export volume for a month this year, higher only than the 321,141 tons total reported for May. Sequentially, the August total was also down 20% from 422,170 tons in July.

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The declared value of base oil exported from South Korea remained high, rising 96% in August to $387.1 million, compared with $197 million in the same month last year. This was the fourth-highest base oil export for a month this year, but sequentially, represented a 14% drop from $450 million in July.

South Korea is one of the world’s largest base oil exporters, sending most of its volume to markets around the world to generate healthy profits for the nation’s refiners. Those include SK LubricantsS-OilGS Caltex and Hyundai Shell Base Oil.

The country imported 24,036 metric tons of base oil in August, a 45% drop from 43,961 tons in August 2020. That was the second-lowest base oil import volume for a month this year, ahead of only the 22,736 tons imported in June.

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