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South Korea's Oct. crude imports from Iran slump 47% on year to 98,097 b/d

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South Korea's imports of Iranian crude oil in October slumped 47.4% to 3.04 million barrels, or 98,097 b/d, compared with 5.78 million barrels a year earlier, data released Friday by state-run Korea National Oil Corp. showed. Compared with September's imports of 4.12 million barrels, South Korea's imports in October were 26.2% lower.

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In the first ten months, the country imported 40.33 million barrels of Iranian crude oil, down 9.5% from 44.55 million barrels in the same period last year. The country did not import any crude oil from Iran in August and September last year in line with US-led sanctions on Iran, but imported 1.97 million in August and 4.12 million barrels in September this year.

South Korea was granted an exemption from US financial sanctions since last year allowing it to keep buying Iranian crude oil as long as it showed an effort to reduce reliance on the supplies. The country imported 56.15 million barrels of Iranian crude in 2012, down 35.6% from 87.18 million barrels in 2011.

The country's total crude oil imports in October, meanwhile, slipped 2.7% year on year to 79.04 million barrels, or 2.55 million b/d, from 81.25 million barrels a year earlier, KNOC data showed. This was up 5.7% from 74.75 million barrels in September.

South Korea's oil consumption fell 2.2% year on year to 67.36 million barrels, or 2.17 million b/d, in October, from 68.86 million barrels a year earlier. This was up 2.9% from 65.47 million barrels in September.

The country's refined product exports in October fell 9.3% year on year to 35.62 million barrels, or 1.15 million b/d, from 39.25 million barrels a year earlier, the data showed. This was almost flat from 35.69 million barrels in September.

South Korea imported 26.24 million barrels of oil products, or 846,452 b/d in October, up 16.3% from 22.56 million barrels a year earlier. October's imports however, were up 1.3% from 25.89 million barrels in September.

--Charles Lee,
--Edited by Irene Tang,