The Korean refining industry recorded largest exports of petroleum products in the first half of the year.
The Korea Petroleum Association announced on July 25 that Korean oil refineries such as SK Energy, GS Caltex, S-OIL and Hyundai Oilbank exported 228.998 million barrels, which was the highest ever, in the first half of this year. This figure is a year on year increase of about 910,000 barrels from 228,081 million barrels, a record high, in the first half of last year.
Exports of petroleum products in the first half were US$14.149 billion, up 36.2% over the same period. The high export growth rate was attributable to an increase in the export unit price per barrel as the price swelled to US$61.8 per barrel from US$45.5 per barrel in the first half of last year.
The amount of petroleum products exported by the Korean refinery industry in the first half of the year accounted for 55% of US$25.87 billion in oil imports during the same period. In fact, more than half of the oil imports were exported as petroleum products.
Exports to China accounted for 19.9 percent of Korea’s total exports, importing 42.9 million barrels. China was followed by Singapore (12%), Australia (11%), Japan (9%), Taiwan (9%) and the United States (7%).
By oil product, diesel accounted for 37.7% of the total, 83.7 million barrels. Diesel was followed by high value-added light oil in the order of jet fuel (21%), gasoline (18%) and naphtha (10%).
Since the beginning of this year, environmental regulations on fuel oil have been enforced on oil products with sulfur contents of 10ppm or more throughout China. For the first time In June, 8000 barrels of light oil with sulfur contents of 10ppm were imported to Korea.
"China’s big expansion of exports of gasoline and diesel to Asia will intensify competition in the market in the latter half of the year," said an official of the Korea Petroleum Association. The Korean refinery industry is tackling this matter by rolling out high-quality products such as raising three plants’ oil refining capacities to the world’s highest levels.