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South Korea's Jan crude imports from Iran plunge 66% on year to 64,419 b/d

South Korea's imports of Iranian crude oil in January plunged 66.1% to 1.997 million barrels, or 64,419 b/d, compared with 5.896 million barrels a year earlier, data released Monday by state-run Korea National Oil Corp. showed.

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The January volume also fell 50.5% from 4.036 million barrels of Iranian crude imported in December, the data showed. For all of 2013, South Korea imported 48.21 million barrels of Iranian crude, down 14.1% from 2012.

The US in November extended a six-month waiver from Iran sanctions to nine countries including South Korea, as the countries were deemed to have made significant reductions in the purchases in the previous six months.

The waiver extension came after the US and five other global powers agreed in Geneva in November to a six-month pause in efforts to further reduce Iran's crude sales in return for concessions on Iran's nuclear program.

South Korea's total crude oil imports in January slipped 4% year on year to 78.426 million barrels, or 2.53 million b/d, according to the KNOC data. The January imports were up 5.7% from 74.191 million barrels imported in December.

In 2013, South Korea imported 915.08 million barrels of crude, or 2.51 million b/d, down 3.4% from 2012.

--Charles Lee, newsdesk@platts.com
--Edited by Wendy Wells, wendy.wells@platts.com