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South Korea Reduces Crude Imports From Iran by Half in April

May 15 (Bloomberg) -- South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest oil importer, cut crude shipments from Iran by 51 percent in April from a year earlier, customs data show.

Purchases last month were 507,821 metric tons, compared with 1.04 million tons a year earlier, according to data on the Korea Customs Service’s website today. The volume was 556,658 tons in March, the figures showed. The April deliveries were equivalent to about 124,000 barrels a day.

South Korea halted imports of Iranian crude in August and September after the start of a European Union ban on insurance coverage for tankers carrying oil from the Persian Gulf nation. The injunction was a part of sanctions by Western countries intended to pressure the Islamic republic to stop its nuclear program, which the U.S. and Israel say is aimed at developing atomic weapons and Iran says is for civilian purposes.

South Korea resumed crude shipments from Iran in October after the Persian Gulf nation offered its own vessels for transporting the commodity.

The Asian nation’s total crude imports fell 5 percent to 9.34 million tons last month from a year earlier, the customs data show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sungwoo Park in Seoul at spark47@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

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