India’s base oils imports fell to a seven-month low in August mostly because of an ongoing slide in shipments from South Korea.
Total imports of close to 250,000t in August fell from more than 330,000t the previous month, provisional customs data showed.
The July volume was the highest in fourteen months following the arrival of a wave of arbitrage shipments from the US and from other sources like Taiwan and Thailand.
More arbitrage shipments from those markets reached India in August. But the volumes were lower than in July.
The arbitrage cargoes in July cushioned the impact of a drop in supplies from South Korea that month.
The slowdown in arbitrage flows in August was insufficient to counter a further fall in shipments from South Korea.
Imports of less than 80,000t from the northeast Asian country in August fell from less than 100,000t in July to the lowest since end-2018.
The slowdown reflected the impact of maintenance work at a key Group III base oils unit in South Korea from late May to first-half July.