South Korean Demand Rebounds

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South Korean Demand Rebounds
Lubricant marketers in South Korea are looking to export markets for growth opportunities. © MISTER DIN

South Korea’s consumption of finished lubricants rose 5% in last year to 986,000 kiloliters (887,000 metric tons), according to data published recently by the Korean Lubricating Oil Industries Association.

The 2021 total represented a rebound from the impacts of the coronavirus crisis, as it was nearly equal with the 990,000 kL of lubes the country consumed in 2019. Association officials said they expect demand to remain in the neighborhood of 1 million kL per year for the next several years but then to decline as electric vehicles gain in popularity.

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“Although the number of vehicle registrations is increasing every year, most of the increase is probably due to the increase in electric vehicles, not internal combustion engine vehicles,” Lim Jongchan, an executive with the group, told Lube Report. “Therefore, as the Korean market is not growing, it is thought that it is necessary to develop overseas markets for growth.”

Between 2013 and 2018, lubricant demand in South Korea ranged from 1,028,000 kL to 1,069,000 kL.

The country already exports large volumes of lubricants. In 2021 it exported 822,329 kL, according to the association, while importing 96,554 kL.

South Korea is among the world’s eight largest lubricant markets.

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Asia    Finished Lubricants    Korea, Republic Of    Market Topics    Region