South Korea Base Oil Exports Rise

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South Korea Base Oil Exports Rise

South Korea’s base oil export volumes rebounded in May, almost 20% higher than in the same month last year, ending a trend of year-on-year flat or lower monthly volumes during the first three months of this year, according to data released by the Korean Customs service. The value of the base oil exported also jumped nearly 50%.

The country exported 379,182 metric tons of base oil in May, an 18% increase from 321,141 tons. Sequentially, that was up 10% from 344,927 tons in April and returned to about the same 379,520 tons mark set in March, which was the highest monthly total this year.

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The value of the base oil exported rose 48% to $478.4 million in May, up from $323.6 million. Sequentially, May’s total was 25% higher than $381.8 million in April and represented the first time the monthly export value crossed the $400 million plateau this year. Last year, the monthly base oil export volume value topped the $428 million mark in each of the last four months.

One of the leading base oil exporters, South Korea ships most of its production to markets around the world, which brings in substantial profits for its refiners.

In May the country imported 37,570 tons of base oil, 32% less than 55,260 tons.

The value of base oil imported decreased 9% to $50.3 million, down from $55.2 million. That’s the second successive month that base oil import value crossed the $50 million mark. Last year, base oil import value topped that number only twice – the $55.2 million mark in May and $51.2 million in July.

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