South Korea Base Oil Exports Slip

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South Korea’s base oil export volume for March was down 2% year to year, after being flat for two consecutive months, according to data released by the Korea Customs Service this week. The volume for March was still higher than January or February.

South Korea exported 379,559 metric tons of base oil in March, down from the 389,052 tons in the same month last year. That was the highest total for a month since December’s 408,826 tons.

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The value of the exported base oils reached $398.7 million, a 17% increase from $339.5 million. That was the highest since $428,217 tons in December but did top both the January and February value figures.

One of the top base oil exports, South Korea sends most of its production to markets globally, bringing in hefty profits for its refiners.

Base oil imports into South Korea dwindled by 59% to 23,387 tons. That was among the lowest totals over the previous 12 months, ahead of 19,699 tons last November and 22,736 tons last June. The value of base oil imports declined 50% to $23.9 million in March. That’s the second lowest for a month since $21.5 million last November.

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