South Korea’s base oil export volumes dropped almost 20% in April, continuing a trend of year-on-year flat or lower monthly volumes this year, according to data released by the Korea Customs Service.
Although the country does not import large volumes of base oils, the value of those imports jumped by more than 50% in April to its highest value since July 2021.
South Korea exported 344,879 metric tons of base oil in April, a 19% decline from 425,705 tons. The monthly volumes were all below 380,000 tons this year, after topping the 400,000-ton mark in each of the last four months of 2021.
The value of base oil exported decreased 5% to $381.7 million, down from $400.4 million. The monthly export value was less than $400 million each month this year, after exceeding $428 million in each of the last four months of last year.
As one of the leading base oil exporters, South Korea sends most of its production to markets around the world, bringing in substantial profits for its refiners.
The country imported 46,655 tons in April, a 13% increase from 41,396 tons. That’s the highest import volume since 44,038 tons in September last year.
The value of base oil imported jumped 52% to $58 million, rising from $38.2 million, for the highest monthly import value since $51.2 million in July 2021.