S Korea's June Crude Imports from Iran Fall to 3.5-Year Low

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – South Korea’s imports of Iranian oil fell 40.3 percent in June from the same month a year ago to their lowest since January 2015.

South Korea, one of Asia’s major Iranian oil customers, imported 686,849 tons of Iranian crude in June, or 167,820 barrels per day (bpd), compared with 1.15 million tons in June 2017, customs office data showed on Sunday.

That was down 9.5 percent from May, Reuters reported.

In the first half of this year, South Korea’s intake of Iranian crude slid 33.9 percent compared with the same period last year to 6.13 million tons, or 248,367 bpd, according to the data.

The drop comes after US President Donald Trump’s administration pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers and announced plans to renew economic sanctions on Tehran.

Seoul has been in talks to get an exemption from the United States in a bid to avert any adverse impact from halting Iranian oil imports. In August, people familiar with the matter have said, South Korea’s Iranian oil imports could be zero for the first time in six years.

South Korea mainly purchases an ultra-light form of crude oil, known as condensate, from Iran. 

In 2012, South Korea managed to get a waiver on the previous round of sanctions by importing limited amounts of Iranian oil during that time. Those sanctions were lifted in 2016.

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