TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - South Korea, one of Asia’s major Iranian oil customers, imported 686,849 tonnes of Iranian crude in June, or 167,820 barrels per day (bpd), compared with 1.15 million tonnes in June 2017, customs office data showed on Sunday. That was down 9.5 percent from May.
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 tonnes, or 248,367 bpd, according to the data.
The drop comes after U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration said it would pull out of an international nuclear deal with Iran and renew tough economic sanctions on Tehran.
Seoul has since been in talks to get an exemption from the United States in a bid to avert any adverse impact from halting Iranian oil imports.
South Korea mainly purchases an ultra-light form of crude oil, known as condensate, from Iran, and its data does not give a breakdown by products.
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.
In total, South Korea’s June crude imports were 13.14 million tonnes, or 3.21 million bpd, up 13.2 percent from 11.61 million tonnes in the same month last year.