S&P Global Platts reported on March 12 that Canada was the largest importer of U.S. crude oil last year and it was followed by South Korea.
Specifically, South Korea’s average daily U.S. crude oil imports were 236,000 barrels last year. Canada’s and China’s figures were 378,000 and 228,000 during the same period, respectively.
South Korea’s average daily volume reached 558,000 barrels in December last year whereas it was 351,000 barrels in November 2018 and 50,000 barrels in December 2017. For reference, Canada’s average daily volume was 431,000 barrels in December 2018.
Experts point out that the increase in U.S. crude oil exports to South Korea has to do with the competitiveness of U.S. crude oil and international political situations. For example, the price of crude oil from the Middle East rose last year amid U.S. sanctions on Iran while an increase in shale oil production resulted in cheaper U.S. crude oil.
China, in the meantime, hit an all-time high of 510,000 barrels in June last year and has reduced its U.S. crude oil imports since then in relation to trade disputes. The Korea Energy Economics Institute recently said that China imported no U.S. crude oil in October and December 2018 and January 2019.