By Joyce Lee
SEOUL, Oct 28 (Reuters) - South Korea's S-Oil Corp 010950.KS said on Wednesday that refining margins are expected to improve in the fourth quarter, supported by increased demand for kerosene and diesel ahead of the winter season.
"However, the rebound would be limited due to re-spread of COVID-19," said the country's third-largest refiner, whose main shareholder is Saudi Aramco 2222.SE, in an earnings statement.
S-Oil reported an operating loss of 9.3 billion won ($8.25 million) for the third quarter, compared with a 231 billion won profit a year earlier but improving from a 164 billion won loss in the second quarter due to gradual demand recovery.
Inventory-related gain was 133 billion won in July-September quarter, compared with a loss of 171 billion won in the previous quarter, it said.
The company also said it operated its 669,000 barrels-per-day CDUs in the southeastern city of Ulsan at 90.7% of capacity on average in the July-September period, down from 99.8% in the second quarter.
Shares of S-Oil were flat as of 0102 GMT, while the wider market .KS11 was trading 0.3% lower.
($1 = 1,127.2200 won)
(Reporting by Joyce Lee and Heekyong Yang; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Krishna Chandra Eluri)
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