South Korea exported more base oil at a greater value in February than in the same month in 2020, according to data published by the Korea Customs Service. The value for February was its highest for a month since before the COVID-19 pandemic started last year.
The country exported 348,303 metric tons of base oil in February, up 15% from 302,549 tons in the same month of last year. The February 2020 figure is between last year’s low point of 247,102 tons in May and high point of 397,573 tons.
The base oil that South Korea exported in February grew 28% in value to $271.8 million, compared to $211.6 million in the year-earlier period. That figure is greater than the highest monthly value since the start of the pandemic — $247.1 million in March 2020.
South Korea is one of the world’s largest base oil exporters, sending most of the volume that it produces to markets around the world to generate healthy profits for the nations’ refiners. Those include SK Lubricants, S-Oil, GS Caltex and Hyundai Shell Base Oil.
The country imported 28,595 tons of base oil in February, a 12% increase from the year-earlier period. For the first two months of the year, South Korea imported 71,873 tons of base oil, up 17%.