Petroleum products lead S. Korea's exports in Q1: report
Monday, 09 April 2012 | 11:00
Petroleum products led South Korea's exports in the first quarter of this year mainly due to higher crude prices, a local industry organization said Sunday.
The findings by the Korea Petroleum Association showed the country shipping out US$13.67 billion worth of refined oil products in the first three months of this year, up a sharp 27.8 percent from a year earlier.
The total is equivalent to 10.1 percent of the country's exports in the January-March period that reached $134.95 billion, it said.
Autos followed at 9.5 percent, with ships and semiconductors accounting for 9.1 percent and 8.9 percent of the country's exports, respectively.
The ranking for petroleum products marks a one-notch increase from 2011, when petroleum products came in second after ships.
The association, which represents the interests of local refineries, said the spike in crude oil prices played a decisive role in pushing up exports. More expensive crude causes refined product prices to go up correspondingly.
The average price for a barrel of crude brought into the country reached US$116.1 in the January-March period, up 15.6 percent from the year prior. In the first quarter of 2011, local refiners paid $100.4 for a barrel of crude brought in from abroad.
Resource-poor South Korea has to bring in oil from overseas that is then refined by local petrochemical plants for both domestic consumption and exports.
Most petroleum products shipped abroad were gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.
China was the largest overseas market, and purchased 28.4 percent of all petroleum products shipped out. This was followed by Japan, Singapore and Indonesia.
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