Source: Banchero Costa According to Banchero Costa, “in terms of demand, seaborne imports into the European Union (27) increased by +4.3% y-o-y to 391.9 mln t in Jan-Oct 2023, with the EU accounting for 21.7% of global seaborne crude oil imports. Volumes into China surged by +21.7% y-o-y to 429.1 mln t in JanOct 2023, with China accounting for 23.8% of global imports. Imports to India increased by +2.4% y-o-y to 190.6 mln t, accounting for 10.6% of global trade. To the USA, imports increased by +1.2% y-o-y to 112.9 mln t in Jan-Oct 2023”. “South Korea is the fourth largest imported of crude oil in the world, after China, the EU, and India. In 2022, South Korea accounted for 6.7% of global seaborne crude oil imports. In Jan-Dec 2022, South Korea imported 136.8 mln tonnes of crude oil by sea, excluding cabotage, according to Refinitiv vessel tracking data. This represented an increase of +2.9% y-o-y compared to the 132.9 mln tonnes imported in 2021. It was however down -3.3% from the 141.4 mln tonnes imported in 2020, and -10.1% down from the 152.1 mln tonnes imported in 2019. In the first 10 month of 2023, imports into South Korea increased by +1.1% y-o-y to 115.6 mln tonnes, which was the highest in three years, but still below the 120.0 mln t in the same period of 2020”, said the shipbroker. Source: Banchero Costa “About 87.4 percent of volumes discharged in South Korea in Jan-Oct 2023 were carried in VLCCs, about 5.4 percent were carried in Suezmaxes, and about 7.1 percent in Aframaxes. Main crude oil import terminals in South Korea are: Ulsan (42.3 mln tonnes in Jan-Oct 2023), Yeosu (32.4 mln t), Daesan (21.4), Onsan (9.7), Inchon (6.9), Kwangyang (2.3), Keoje (0.6). In terms of sources of the shipments, the majority of South Korea’s oil imports arrives from the Middle East, totalling 70.9% or 82.0 mln tonnes in Jan-Oct 2023. Saudi Arabia is the single largest crude oil exporter to South Korea, accounting for 33.1% of volumes in Jan-Oct 2023. In Jan-Oct 2023, South Korea imported 38.3 mln tonnes of crude oil from Saudi Arabia, -5.3% y-o-y. In the same period, imports from Kuwait increased by +6.2% y-o-y to 12.7 mln t, from Iraq by +11.9% y-o-y to 11.4 mln t, from the UAE by +58.2% y-o-y to 10.1 mln t, and from Qatar by +71.1% y-o-y to 9.3 mln t. Direct shipments from Russia increased by +1.2% y-o-y to 10.8 mln t in Jan-Oct 2023. Russia still accounts for 9.4 percent of South Korea’s overall seaborne crude oil imports this year. Imports from the USA to South Korea declined by -1.0% y-o-y to 15.5 mln t in Jan-Oct 2023, from South America by -41.8% y-o-y to 1.8 mln t, and from Mexico by -18.8% yo-y to 1.7 mln t”, Banchero Costa concluded”. Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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