Bloomberg News

South Korea October Crude Imports Rise 8.3%, Costs Gain 53%

October 31, 2011

(Updates with import value in second paragraph.)

Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- South Korea, the world’s fifth- largest crude oil importer, increased overseas purchases of the fuel by 8.3 percent last month, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

Imports rose to 83.0 million barrels from 76.6 million a year earlier, the ministry said in an e-mailed statement today, without providing reasons for the change. The country’s import bill gained 53 percent to $9.1 billion after prices increased 41 percent to $109.70 a barrel.

Oil-product exports declined to 29.3 million barrels in October from 34.1 million barrels a year earlier. Shipments to Japan more than doubled, the biggest growth among all destinations, followed by a 67 percent gain in exports to China, the ministry said, citing values for the first 20 days of the month.

Gas import costs jumped 49 percent to $2.62 billion, while coal costs gained 14 percent to $1.31 billion, the ministry said.

--With assistance from Sangim Han in Seoul. Editors: Ryan Woo, Paul Gordon.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sungwoo Park in Seoul at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Richard Dobson at; Amit Prakash at

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