South Korea’s petroleum product exports amounted to 132 million barrels in the third quarter this year, reaching an all-time high. This was largely due to the fact that the production of petroleum products, mainly naphtha and jet fuel, increased and it had an import substitution effect.
According to the data on the domestic oil demand and supply in the third quarter this year from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) on December 3, the imports of petroleum products dropped, while the imports of crude oil and the production, exports and consumption of petroleum products all grew.
The imports of crude oil totaled 287.1 million barrels, up 6.2 percent from a year earlier, as the consumption by domestic oil companies also increased with the global market recovery.
By country, the imports from the Middle East decreased 0.8 percent compared to the same period last year, while that from the Americas, such as the United States and Mexico, surged 71.9 percent. This is because of the diversification of importers, according to the MOTIE. However, the Middle East still takes up most of them with 82.6 percent.
The exports of petroleum products recorded its highest figures ever at 132.3 million barrels based on jet fuel and diesel oil, up 3.9 percent from a year ago. The amount of exports rose 29.1 percent on-year to US$9.22 billion (10.03 trillion won) as both the exports and the oil prices went up.
By product, the exports of marine diesel oil to Taiwan jumped a whopping 57.9 percent as well as that to the Philippines, Australia and Angola that lack refineries grew 4.3 percent. The exports of jet fuel increased 9.4 percent to 12.1 million barrels as some oil refinement facilities in the U.S. stopped operation because of the Hurricane Harvey in August this year.
By contrast, the exports of gasoline fell 2 percent with domestic gasoline production decreasing. The exports of naphtha dropped 8.5 percent owing to high domestic demand, though its exports to China increased 42.7 percent and its domestic production expanded 21.3 percent.
In addition, the total production of petroleum products came to 308.3 million barrels, up 6.4 percent from the same period a year earlier, with the increase of oil demands at home and abroad. The imports of petroleum products plunged 12.5 percent to 77.8 million barrels as the domestic production grew.