Imports of Iranian crude oil by major buyers in Asia hit a five-year low in October, as China, Japan and South Korea sharply cut purchases ahead of U.S. sanctions on Tehran that took effect in early November, government and ship-tracking data showed.
China, India, Japan and South Korea last month imported about 762,000 barrels per day (bpd) from Iran, according to the data, down 56.4 percent from a year earlier. This marks the lowest volume of shipments since October 2013, when an earlier round of tough U.S. and E.U. sanctions had slashed exports from the OPEC member starting from early 2012.
In reimposing sanctions on Nov. 5 on Iran’s energy and shipping industries, however, Washington also granted exemptions to China, Japan, South Korea and five other countries, allowing them to continue buying some Iranian oil for at least another 180 days. Read More