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Refiners' H1 exports hit all-time high of $27.95b on higher oil prices, demand recovery

SK Innovation's electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in the US state of Georgia is shown in this photo provided by the South Korean battery maker on Aug. 28, 2020. (SK Innovation)
SK Innovation's electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in the US state of Georgia is shown in this photo provided by the South Korean battery maker on Aug. 28, 2020. (SK Innovation)

The exports of petroleum products by major refiners in South Korea hit a record high of $27.95 billion in the first half of this year on the back of higher oil prices and strong demand recovery amid eased COVID-19 restrictions, data showed Tuesday.

The outbound shipments by SK Energy Co., GS Caltex Corp., S-Oil Corp. and Hyundai Oilbank Co. represent a 97.6 percent increase from a year earlier and surpassed the previous record high of $27.7 billion in 2012, according to a latest report by the Korea Petroleum Association.

The robust growth came as the recent rise in global oil prices gave a boost to export unit prices, and the reopening of borders around the world after tight COVID-19 restrictions helped fuel demand for petroleum products, the report said.

The refiners in South Korea also "strategically" diversified the regions to countries like Australia and the Philippines that experienced supply shortages amid the COVID-19-driven border controls, the report noted.

The export volume rose 12.8 percent on-year to 220.9 million barrels in the January-June period, with the export unit prices of petroleum products jumping 75.3 percent to $126.6 per barrel in the same period.

Diesel exports rose 8.8 percent to 92.9 million barrels, with its export value soaring 106.2 percent to $12.56 billion due to the supply disruptions amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Exports of jet fuel also grew 40.1 percent to 35.27 million barrels, amounting to $4.68 billion, up 171.3 percent from the previous year, boosted by strong global cargo demand amid the pandemic.

By country, Australia became the top buyer of South Korean petroleum products, accounting for 16.2 percent in terms of export value, followed by Singapore with 12.2 percent, the United States at 9.3 percent, the Philippines at 9 percent and China with 8.6 percent, according to the report. (Yonhap)

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