Northeast Asia

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South Korea and Japan imported 342,000 b/d more Mideast crude in the first two months of the year compared to a year ago, with volumes rising to 4.31 million b/d, according to data from Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC) and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Meti). Their total crude imports spiked by 549,000 b/d from Jan.-Feb.’21 to 5.66 million b/d this year. The increased appetite for crude from Korea and Japan was driven by stronger refining runs compared to a year ago. Korea’s refining run rate of 80.6% in February is a 6.5 percentage point increase from just 74.1% a year ago, according to KNOC data. The January Korean run rate of 81.6% represents an even higher 9.8 percentage point jump from 71.8% last January.

Crude Oil, Oil Demand
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