Figures released by South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy show that the country’s imports of oil from Iran from July to September stood at a total of 29.8 million barrels. This shows an increase of 147.7 percent compared to the same period last year, The Korea Herald newspaper reported on its website.
The comparable figure for the second quarter was 25.35 million barrels in the previous quarter, also up 123 percent, added the report.
Iran had been one of the biggest crude oil exporters to South Korea. South Korea imported $9.36 billion worth of crude from Iran before the implementation of US-engineered sanctions against the Islamic Republic in 2011. The sanctions – that were in place until the end of 2015 - lowered the imports of Iranian crude to $2.27 billion.
After the removal of the sanctions in January, South Korea has been increasingly stepping up its imports of crude oil from Iran “which is cheaper than that of other oil-rich countries,” added The Korea Herald in its report.
Meanwhile, South Korea's overall oil imports increased 3.9 percent on-year to 270.4 million barrels during the three-month period on the back of low oil prices. This is while imports of oil-related products, such as liquefied petroleum gas, jumped 14.3 percent on-year to 88.7 million barrels in the third quarter, added the report.