South Korea's Mar ethanol imports up 53% on year at 28,946 mt


South Korea's ethanol imports rose 52.52% year on year to 28,946 mt in March, and were up 10.25% month on month, Korea Customs Service data released Wednesday showed.

Undenatured ethanol comprised 14,895 mt of the total, up 91% year on year and up 111.13% from February. Australia was the main supplier of undenatured ethanol in March at 10,042 mt, followed by Cambodia at 1,617 mt, Pakistan at 1,612 mt and Brazil at 1,293 mt.

Australia has been the biggest supplier of undenatured ethanol to South Korea to date in the October 2017-September 2018 season, accounting for 47% of the total 74,883 mt imported by South Korea since October, followed by Pakistan at 24% or 18,158 mt.

Denatured ethanol imports fell 26.82% month on month to 14,051 mt in March. Imports from the US comprised 62% of the total at 8,770 mt, followed by imports from Pakistan at 4,389 mt and South Africa at 493 mt.

South Korea's ethanol importers are currently closely watching the Brazil grade B ethanol as prices come off due to a weakening Real and reports of Brazilian mills starting to crush before the official harvest start date of April 1 for the 2018-19 (April-March) season, market sources said.

Meanwhile, South Korea's ethanol exports totaled 3,184 mt in March, up 147.8% year on year and up 6.92% month on month.

Of the total 3,173 mt or 99.7% was undenatured ethanol exported to Japan. Denatured ethanol exports totaled 2 mt in the month.


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