S.Korean Oil Refiners Suffer Record Q1 Losses
South Korean oil refiners' posted a combined operating loss of 4.38 trillion won from January to March due to tumbling oil prices, sluggish refining margins, and the coronavirus pandemic.
SK Innovation led all losers with an operating setback of 1.76 trillion won.
Meanwhile, GS Caltex had a 1.03 trillion won in losses, S-Oil Corp. blew over 1 trillion won, and Hyundai Oilbank Co. ceded 563.2 billion won.
In contrast, oil refiners posted a total operating income of 3.1 trillion won for last year.
The industry players were already hampered by weakening refining margins when the pandemic sent oil prices cratering and causing a sharp plunge in demand for their products. They also have to deal with falling international crude prices that sank the value of their crude and petroleum products.
Analysts say that their earnings are unlikely to bounce back in the second quarter of the year.
According to Hana Financial Investment Co., it's inevitable that oil refiners will post record losses in the second quarter, and that they would hardly improve their refining margins even if demand recovers.