November 30, 2017 / 9:47 AM / a year ago

Asian imports of Iranian oil fall from 6-mth high

    * Asia imports fall first time since June
    * India imports decline nearly 40 pct
    * South Korea purchases surge more than 80 pct

    TOKYO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Imports of Iranian crude by major
buyers in Asia fell in October from a sixth-month high hit the
previous month, dropping for the first time since June, with
South Korea the only big Asian importer to increase loadings. 
    China, India, Japan and South Korea imported almost 1.75
million barrels per day (bpd) last month, up 11.4 percent from a
year ago, government and ship-tracking data showed. 
    Asian purchases remain below highs touched earlier this year
and last year as Tehran ramped up exports after the lifting of
sanctions that had targeted its disputed nuclear programme. 
    Arrivals for November, though, are likely to show a further
drop as oil loadings bound for Asia fell below 1.5 million bpd
in October, a person with knowledge of Iran's tanker schedules
told Reuters late last month. 
    Tehran is pushing to retain its prized Asian customers,
hoping price reductions will boost the appeal of its crude
compared with other Middle Eastern grades even as the potential
threat of a renewal of U.S. sanctions looms.
    India's imports from Iran fell 38.9 percent to about 467,000
bpd last month from a year earlier.
    China, the biggest buyer, purchased 11.5 percent less oil
from Iran year-on-year, taking around 685,000 bpd. 
    South Korea's imports surged nearly 90 percent in October
from the previous year to almost 427,000 bpd. 
    Imports to Japan, which announced official figures on
Thursday, were down by nearly 20 percent from a year earlier at
165,000 bpd. 
    The tables below outline Iran crude imports in bpd by Asia's
biggest buyers for last month and year-to-date.        
 Country         Oct-17        Oct-16   yr/yr pct
 China          685,150       773,860       -11.5
 India          467,600       765,500       -38.9
 Japan          165,535       201,847       -18.0
 Korea          426,710       227,452        87.6
 Total        1,744,995     1,968,659       -11.4
 Country   Jan-Oct 2017  Jan-Oct 2016   yr/yr pct
 China          634,749       618,866         2.6
 India          486,400       454,000         7.1
 Japan          165,405       224,166       -26.2
 Korea          423,651       278,882        51.9
 Total        1,710,205     1,575,914         8.5
 (Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick and Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by
Tom Hogue)
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