SOUTH KOREA DATA: Dec US crude imports mark largest drop of 67.9%
2020 US crude imports tumble 24.5%
Refiners favor Center Jap crudes in instances of uncertainty
December Saudi oil imports bounce 60% on 12 months
South Korean imports of US crude oil tumbled 67.9% 12 months on 12 months in December 2020, marking the most important decline because the nation started North American crude purchases in 2015, in keeping with knowledge from the Korea Customs Service launched Jan. 15.
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Native refiners imported 583,162 mt, or 4.27 million barrels, of US crude in December, in contrast with the 13.32 million barrels they acquired in the identical month of 2019, and the cutback additionally marks the eighth consecutive month-to-month decline, the customs knowledge confirmed.
The December shipments from the US have been additionally down 34.7% from 6.54 million barrels acquired in November.
For the complete 12 months 2020, US crude imports fell to 104.08 million barrels, down 24.5% from 137.89 million barrels in 2019.
The sharp decline for the 12 months was largely attributed to much less aggressive costs of North American export grades and weakening home demand for refined oil merchandise, in keeping with refinery buying and selling sources primarily based in Seoul.
North American benchmark WTI used to commerce at a steep low cost to Brent and Dubai just a few years in the past, however such reductions have dissipated over the previous months, which have prompted South Korean refiners to aggressively reduce on gentle candy US crude purchases, the refinery sources mentioned.
Majority of US crude that South Korean refiners buy consist of sunshine candy grades, together with WTI Midland and Eagle Ford, however these corporations are reluctant to purchase excessive volumes of the sunshine and
center distillate-rich refinery feedstock as a consequence of dismal home demand for gasoline, jet gasoline and diesel.
Quite the opposite, South Korea’s crude imports from its high provider Saudi Arabia jumped 60.3% 12 months on 12 months to 4.42 million mt, or 32.Four million barrels, in December, in contrast with 20.21 million barrels in the identical month of 2019. It marks the fourth consecutive enhance since September.
South Korean refiners favor grades from their conventional Center Jap suppliers comparable to Saudi Arabia due to the comparatively shorter voyage time in contrast with others such because the US, whereas the businesses see their staple weight loss plan of Persian Gulf grades as probably the most dependable and economical feedstock possibility in instances of market uncertainty, a refinery official mentioned.
In complete, the world’s fifth-biggest crude purchaser, imported 11.33 million mt (83.05 million barrels or 2.68 million b/d) of crude in December, down 7.2% from 89.47 million barrels a 12 months earlier, the customs knowledge confirmed.
For full-year 2020, the nation’s crude imports dropped 8.7% from 2019 at 978.86 million barrels.
South Korea’s crude stockpiles fell 5.5% 12 months on 12 months to 41.58 million barrels in November, in contrast with 44 million a 12 months in the past, in keeping with state-run Korea Nationwide Oil Corp, or KNOC. The nation’s total stockpile of refined oil merchandise additionally declined 5.4% 12 months on 12 months to 60.08 million barrels in November, in contrast with 63.53 million barrels a 12 months earlier.
South Korean refiners and condensate splitters processed 76.29 million barrels of crude in November, down 16.8% from 91.73 million barrels a 12 months earlier, as a consequence of tepid demand for oil merchandise amid the
protracted coronavirus pandemic.
Last oil knowledge for December shall be launched later this month by KNOC.