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According to the South Korean government, last month South Korea's exports of petroleum products, such as gasoline and diesel, surged 95.7 percent from a year ago.
The exports were driven by rising demand from both Asia and the European Union.
According to South Korea's Ministry of Knowledge Economy, South Korea exported shipped over $5.18 billion worth of petroleum products in July, as opposed to about $2.66 billion the previous year for a total of 42.2 million barrels of refined petroleum products.
In a statement the Ministry of Knowledge Economy noted, "The increase in exports of petroleum products is mainly due to hikes in demand from other Asian countries and the European Union," Seoul’s Yonhap news agency reported.
Two factors boosting exports were the 11 March earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, which knocked out Tokyo Electric Power Company’s six reactor Fukushima nuclear complex and refinery complexes on Japan’s eastern coast and South Korea’s recent free trade agreement (FTA) with Europe, signed last month, which also increased sales. The FTA cut European import duties, causing South Korea exports to the European Union to soar 251.6 percent from their June 2011 level to over 3.9 million barrels. South Korean total energy exports were equal to 60 percent of the $8.7 billion the country spent to purchase crude oil from abroad
By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com