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South Korea's Feb ethanol imports jump 14% on month to 26,255 mt

Singapore — South Korea's ethanol imports rose 14% month on month to 26,255 mt in February, according to Korea Customs Service data released Tuesday.

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The imports in February were up by 87.58% year on year from 13,997 mt in February 2017. The import volume of undenatured ethanol fell 35.52% from January to 7,054 mt in February. Pakistan was the biggest supplier of undenatured ethanol in February, accounting for 2,873 mt, while imports from Cambodia was at 1,623 mt in February.

Australia has been the biggest supplier of undenatured ethanol to South Korea so far this season, over October 2017-September 2018, accounting for 24,818 mt of the total 59,988 mt undenatured ethanol imported by South Korea since October 2017.

Pakistan was the second biggest supplier, with 16,546 mt of exports to South Korea so far this season.

South Korea's denatured ethanol imports increased by 58.97% month on month to 19,200 mt in February, of which 88% came from the US. Imports from Pakistan were at 1,095 mt, followed by South Africa at 746 mt.

South Korea imported a lot of denatured ethanol from the US in February as prices in US were low during January, market sources said. The Platts Chicago Argo ethanol price averaged $1.3045/gal ($436.77/mt) in January, S&P Global Platts data showed.

The Platts Chicago Argo ethanol price has firmed up by 13.30% since then to $1.4780/gal Monday, Platts data showed.

On the export front, South Korea's total ethanol outflow dropped by 40.75% month on month to 2,978 mt in February.

Japan remained the biggest export destination of undenatured ethanol in February, with 2,959 mt. Total denatured ethanol exports were at 18 mt in February.

--Srijan Kanoi,

--Edited by Norazlina Juma'at,