S. Korea's Iran crude imports top 9 mbpd
South Korea's crude oil imports from Iran fell 24.9% year-on-year to 9.09 million barrels or 303,000 barrels per day in April, from 12.11 million barrels in the year-ago month, according to preliminary data released by the Korea Customs Service on Tuesday. This marks the sixth consecutive decline since November last year when imports fell 26.8% YOY to 10.37 million barrels, Platts reported.
The April imports were also down 21.6% from 11.6 million barrels in March. For the first four months, Iranian crude imports fell 36.1% YOY to 37.59 million barrels, from 58.84 million barrels in same period last year. In 2017, Iranian crude oil imports increased 32.1% to 147.87 million barrels. The country's monthly imports of Iranian crude had increased since January 2016 when the US and EU lifted sanctions on Iran. The sharp decrease in crude imports from Iran was largely attributable to fewer condensate shipments following the startup of new condensate splitters in the country like the Persian Gulf Star Refinery.