TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Japanese customers, however, are continuing to import for now, with multiple buyers considering buying Iranian oil through September loading, said a North Asia trading source familiar with Iranian oil shipping arrangements.
The move by South Korea, one of Iran’s main customers in Asia along with China and Japan, comes as it is in talks to seek an exemption from U.S. curbs on buying Iranian oil, in line with a waiver it received during previous sanctions, Reuters reported.
“There was pressure from the South Korean government to halt purchases,” said the source familiar with Iranian shipping arrangements. “South Korea overall is lifting zero oil (from Iran) for July loading.”
Two other sources said South Korea canceled July loadings of crude and condensate cargoes from Iran as it was uncertain whether the country would receive an exemption from U.S. sanctions on Iran trade.
The cancellations mean South Korea will import no Iranian oil in August, the first month of zero imports since August 2012 when South Korean buyers put Iranian oil purchases on hold before getting a waiver to import limited amounts of Iran crude.