South Korea again exported a larger volume of base oils and more than doubled its declared export value in October, compared to the same month last year. This was the fourth month this year – along with April, July and September – in which export volume topped 422,000 metric tons and the value exceeded $400 million.
The nation exported 429,142 tons of base oil in October, 22% higher than 351,803 tons in the same month last year and also 31% more than 328,315 tons in October 2019. Sequentially, this year’s October total was 3% less than 442,932 tons in September.
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The declared value of base oil exported from South Korea reached $443.4 million in October, topping the October 2020 value of $204.7 million by 117% and exceeding the October 2019 value by 84%. However, sequentially, this was down 15% from a record high of $521.3 million in September.
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 32,262 tons of base oil in October, a 9% decrease from 35,303 tons in the same month last year and 36% lower than 50,177 tons in October 2019. Sequentially, the import volume was down 27% from 44,038 tons in September.
The value of the imported base oil reached $35.3 million in October, a 49% increase from $23.8 million in the same month last year and down 10% from $39.1 million in October 2019. Sequentially, the imported base oil value was down 26% from $47.4 million in September.