SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s crude imports in June fell 12.6% from a year earlier, with its crude oil intakes for the first half dropping 7.9 %, pressured by weaker fuel demand at home and abroad in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The world’s fifth-largest crude oil importer shipped in 10.04 million tonnes of crude oil in June, or 2.45 million barrels per day (bpd), down 12.6% from 11.49 million tonnes a year earlier, according to customs data.
Of the country’s total crude oil imports, oil shipments from Saudi Arabia, South Korea’s top oil supplier, were 3.96 million tonnes in June, or 967,165 bpd, up 7.8% from 3.67 million tonnes last year.
In June, South Korea’s imports of Mexican crude oil jumped 21.7% from a year earlier to 707,669 tonnes, or 172,907 bpd. Mexico ranked as South Korea’s No.4 crude oil supplier last month after Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
But crude oil imports from other major crude suppliers in June dropped. Oil imports from the United States dropped 39.2% year-on-year to 661,367 tonnes, or 161,594 bpd, while crude oil imports from Iraq fell by more than half to 584,942 tonnes, or 142,921 tonnes, according to the data.
South Korea’s oil shipments from Iran have remained at zero since May last year.
In the first half of the year, South Korea’s crude oil imports decreased 7.9% year-on-year to 66.95 million tonnes, or nearly 2.7 million bpd, the data noted.
State-run Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC) will release the country’s final crude oil imports data later this month.
Reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Leslie Adler