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South Korea Resumes Iranian NGL Imports

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April 14, 2013

reuters logoBy Meeyoung Cho

SEOUL, April 15 (Reuters) – South Korea resumed imports from Iran of natural gas liquids in March, customs data showed on Monday, after halting shipments for eight months because of EU sanctions restricting insurance on tankers carrying Iranian oil.

South Korea imported a total of 101,029 tonnes of natural gas liquids – a feedstock for petrochemical production – last month, with 72,750 tonnes coming from Iran, the data showed.

The North Asian country halted imports of Iranian natural gas liquids in July because it was unable to find ships to carry the feedstock due to the European Union sanctions.

The United States and the EU have imposed sanctions aimed at halting Iran’s nuclear programme, which the West suspects is being used to develop arms. Tehran denies this.

Two sources familiar with the situation said the shipments to South Korea had resumed using Iranian ships, but it was unclear if the imports were made under term or spot deals.

South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest crude oil and second-largest liquefied natural gas importer, bought 464,963 tonnes of natural gas liquids last year, according to the customs data.

Of the total, 372,203 tonnes came from Iran before being stopped in July, and the rest from the United Arab Emirates. (Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Ed Davies)

(c) 2013 Thomson Reuters, Click For Restrictions

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