*Global number five crude importer South Korea has been hit less hard by Covid-19 than several key western economies. But its crude imports still fell 9% to 2.72mn b/d for 1H20. As yet there is no sign of a rebound, June imports at 2.47mn b/d were the lowest monthly figure since 2014, whilst Q2 at 2.57mn b/d was down a further 300,000 b/d (11%) on Q1 (see table).
*Korea is the second key importer to release comprehensive 1H stats after Taiwan, which saw a 14% slump in volumes (MEES, 10 June). China by contrast has seen volumes rise year-on-year, setting new monthly records in its headline figures for May and June (MEES, 17 July), although the key boost appears to have come from stock building. (CONTINUED - 400 WORDS)