S. Korea Iran Crude Imports Up 15%

S. Korea Iran Crude Imports Up 15%S. Korea Iran Crude Imports Up 15%

South Korea’s imports of Iranian crude rose around 15% in July from a month earlier.

South Korea shipped in 788,651 ton of crude oil from Iran last month, or 186,478 barrels per day, customs office data showed on Wednesday, up from 686,849 tons in June, Reuters reported.

However, the East Asian country's intake of Iranian crude oil in July showed a 43.5% from the corresponding period of a year earlier, which was down from around 1.4 million tons in July 2017.

South Korean refiners started cutting their Iranian crude purchases after the reimposition of sanctions by the United States was announced in May. Initial sanctions, including on Iranian access to the US banking system, went into effect on Aug. 6, with sanctions blocking companies from buying Iranian crude starting in November. South Korean refiners did not plan to load any Iranian crude in July amid pressure from their government and the United States to comply with the sanctions, which should cut imports for August based on shipping times, sources said last month.

The South Korean government has been seeking waivers to the sanctions from the US government.

In the first seven months of the year, South Korea’s Iranian crude imports declined to 6.92 million tons, or 239,317 bpd. That was down 35.1% from 10.67 million tons over the same period in 2017, according to the customs data. In total, South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest crude oil importer, shipped in 12.89 million tons of crude in July, or 3.05 million bpd, up 3.6% from 12.44 million tons a year earlier.


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