S.Korea’s Sept Iran crude imports jump 85.8 pct on year


South Korea’s crude oil shipments from Iran jumped 85.8 percent in September from a year ago, with imports in the first nine months of 2016 soaring 114.1 percent, customs data showed on Saturday.

Seoul imported 1.5 million tonnes of crude from Iran, or 363,267 barrels per day (bpd), nearly double than 800,111 tonnes imported a year earlier when sanctions against Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme were still in place.

With the lifting of sanctions earlier this year, Iran has consistently stated that it plans to ramp up production to reclaim market share.

In September, Iran’s total crude oil and condensate sales likely hit pre-sanction levels at around 2.8 million barrels per day, two sources with knowledge of the matter said previously.

Iran will sell another 2 million barrels, or about 66,000 bpd, of South Pars condensate each month to Hyundai Chemical in Daesan between October and December, the two sources said. That will be for a splitter jointly operated by Hyundai Oilbank Co and Lotte Chemical .

South Korea, the world’s No. 5 crude importer, brought in 9.81 million tonnes of Iranian crude in the first nine months of 2016, or 263,506 bpd, versus 4.58 million tonnes a year ago, up 114.1 percent.

South Korea’s crude oil imports data usually includes condensate, but it does not provide a breakdown.

Overall, Asia’s fourth-largest economy imported 12.3 million tonnes of crude last month, or 3.01 million bpd. That was 18 percent higher than the 10.43 million tonnes imported in September last year, the customs data showed.

South Korea shipped in 10.69 million tonnes of crude in the Januray-September period of 2016, or 2.86 million bpd, versus 10.23 million tonnes last year.

Final data for September crude oil imports will be released by state-run Korea National Oil Corp later this month.

Source: Reuters

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