Korea’s petroleum product exports are expected to rise this year thanks to a recent rise in oil prices. However, analysis says that the upward trend may be limited due to the situation of the Chinese market which is a major importer of petroleum products.
According to the petrochemical industry and related ministries on January 9, Korea’s petroleum product exports were estimated at US$ 26,418 million last year. Compared to $ 32 billion in 2015, the figure was down about 17.5 percent. Low oil prices which started in 2014 sent down Korea’s petroleum product exports from US$ 50 billion below US$ 30 billion last year. This is because oil prices dropped, lowering total exports.
The amount of exports declined due to low oil prices, but the export volume swelled steadily. The unit price shrank and the total amount contracted, but the volume increased steadily. Exports of petroleum products are expected to reach 490 million barrels, a record high, last year.
Therefore, generally, there is a positive outlook on Korea’s petroleum product exports this year. In actuality, exports of oil have been rising for two consecutive months since November last year. In November and December, the exports increased 1.7% and 13.7% year on year, respectively.
The petrochemical industry and the government expect exports conditions to improve as prices of products will jump due to a rise in international oil prices this year. This is because a prediction is strengthening that the Dubai oil price which averaged US$ 41.4 a barrel last year will maintain between US$ 50 and US$ 55 this year, rising by at least US$ 10.
It is also forecast that an export environment for petroleum products will improve as the Chinese government tightens regulations early, including raising its sulfur content standard for diesel beginning this year