South Korea exported a larger volume of base oils and more than doubled its declared export value in September, compared to the same month last year. The export value was a record high, reflecting the impact of higher base oil prices.
The country exported 443,212 metric tons of base oil in September, a 14% increase from 387,852 tons in the same month last year and up 16% from 382,973 tons in September 2019. Sequentially, this year’s September total increased 31% from 338,225 tons in August.
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The declared value of base oil exported from South Korea hit record high of $521.9 million in September, a 148% increase from $210.8 million in the same month last year and surpassing the September 2019 total of $274.1 million by 90%. This was the third month this year that the value topped $400 million. Sequentially, this was also a 35% increase from August’s total.
Year-to-date through September, the country exported 3.4 million tons of base oil, up 6% from the same period in 2020 and up 3% from the first nine months of 2019. The export value for the first three quarters of this year reached $3.4 billion, jumping 84% compared to the same period in 2020 and up 36% from the first nine months of 2019.
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 Lubricants, S-Oil, GS Caltex and Hyundai Shell Base Oil.
The country imported 44,038 metric tons of base oil in September, a 24% increase from 35,545 tons in the same month last year and up 144% from 18,035 tons in September 2019.