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South Korea’s Sep crude oil imports mark first fall in 11 months

South Korea’s crude oil imports fell 0.9% year on year in September, marking the first decline in almost a year. The country imported 76.1 million barrels of crude oil in September, down from 76.8 million barrels a year earlier, preliminary data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy showed Thursday. It was the first year-on-year decline in South Korea’s monthly crude imports since October last year, when imports dipped 5.8% from a year earlier. The September volume was also down 14.2% from the 88.7 million barrels imported in August, and was the smallest monthly volume since 74.5 million barrels was imported in October last year. The cost of South Korea’s imports fell 50.8% year on year to $3.87 billion in September from $7.86 billion a year earlier, and was also down from $4.85 billion in August, according to the MOTIE data. The country paid an average $50.9/b in […]

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World’s Top 3 Shipbuilders Post Record Loss on Deep-Sea Failures

Construction work in the dry dock at the Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg The world’s three biggest shipbuilders posted a combined 4.8 trillion won ($4.1 billion) in operating losses in the second quarter, paying the price for a failed foray into deep-sea oil rigs. Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. and Samsung Heavy Industries Co. — South Korea’s Big Three shipbuilders — all reported losses Wednesday that were far worse than analysts had estimated. The root cause: a venture into offshore oil rigs starting around 2010 to avoid direct competition with Chinese shipbuilders, who had the advantage of cheap labor to make low-profit tankers. Mounting losses at vessel makers are the latest example of difficulties for the global shipbuilding industry after a glut of vessels and low freight rates spelled trouble for Chinese shipyards in recent years, prompting […]

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Deep-Sea Plan Fails, Leaving Korean Shipyards Struggling

Daewoo ship workers look at the Pazflor floating production, storage and offloading unit at a shipyard in Geoje, South Korea. Photographer: Jean Chung/Bloomberg The deep-ocean strategy is coming back to bite South Korean shipyards. Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. and Samsung Heavy Industries Co. — South Korea’s Big Three shipbuilders — ventured into offshore oil rigs starting around 2010. The goal was to avoid direct competition with China, where inexpensive labor could churn out low-profit tankers at cheaper rates. With oil prices climbing toward $100 a barrel, offshore rigs seemed like a savvy bet. Today the strategy seems to have backfired. Struggling with technology and a plunge in oil prices that has discouraged exploration, Korean vessel makers are racking up debt and could show billions of dollars in losses when they report earnings starting Monday. It’s the latest example of difficulties for the global […]

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