U.S. crude deliveries to South Korea to hit record high in November
By Collin Eaton
HOUSTON, Sept 10 (Reuters) - U.S. crude deliveries to South
Korea are poised to reach a record in November, Thomson Reuters
trade flows data show, as buyers there pull back from Iranian
crude to comply with sanctions reimposed on Iran by the United
The escalating U.S.-China trade row has also helped push
U.S. crude into South Korea, with U.S. exporters seeking
alternative buyers in Asia - including in South Korea, India,
Japan and Taiwan - as China's purchases fall. Only one crude
tanker is scheduled to depart from the United States in
September for China, previously a top U.S. crude buyer.
A dozen tankers carrying more than 21 million barrels of
U.S. crude are underway or scheduled to depart for South Korea
between Sept. 11 and Nov. 27, more than the previous seven
months combined, the data show.
U.S. crude arriving in South Korea, the world's
fifth-largest crude importer, will hit a record 269,000 barrels
per day (bpd) in November, up from 229,000 bpd in September and
221,000 bpd in October, the data shows.
South Korea, one of Iran's top crude customers, last month
cut its Iranian crude acquisitions to zero, according to the
data, while it sought waivers from the U.S. sanctions.
"The U.S. needs to push out exports or it will start to
build inventories at home," said Olivier Jakob, managing
director of consultancy PetroMatrix. "Exporters need to seek
alternative buyers because the U.S. still needs to maintain a
high level of exports."
The C. Challenger, carrying more than 2 million barrels of
Light Louisiana Sweet <WTC-LLS> crude, is scheduled to reach
Yeosu, on South Korea's southern coast, on Oct. 2. The Baghdad,
also carrying 2 million barrels of the U.S. coastal grade,
departed from the Galveston Offshore Lightering Area and is
expected to reach Ulsan in southeastern South Korea on Oct. 10,
the trade flows data show.
Other Asian countries also are buying more U.S. crude. A
record amount will flow in September to Japan, with its imports
of U.S. crude are set to reach 138,000 bpd this month. Taiwan's
August purchases of U.S. oil hit a record 245,000 bpd, the data
"Asian demand is still relatively strong, and those
countries have a tendency politically to favor diversification
(of crude suppliers) when you have trade wars," Jakob said.
(Reporting by Collin Eaton)
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