MNA – South Korea’s imports of Iranian crude oil more than quadrupled in February from a month ago, nearing a level before US sanctions on Tehran.
According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, Seoul imported US$476 million worth of crude from Tehran last month.
The figure, obtained from the data from the Korea Customs Service, is more than four times the $101 million posted in January but lower than the $621 million recorded a year earlier.
The amount is also close to the average import value of $539 million during the January-July period last year ahead of the US sanctions.
Seoul resumed imports of Iranian crude in January this year, two months after Washington reinstated all Iranian sanctions in the wake of US unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal. South Korea and seven other countries were granted waivers to continue to buy Iranian oil over the next six months.
Condensate accounts for nearly 70 percent of South Korean imports of Iranian crude. Naphtha, a key raw material for petrochemicals, is derived from condensate.
Iranian condensate, preferred by South Korean oil refiners and petrochemicals firms, took up 51 percent of Seoul’s total condensate imports during the first quarter of last year.