According to data released by the state-run Korea National Oil Corporation on Wednesday showed that Kuwait’s crude oil exports to South Korea fell 18.8% in October from a year earlier to 9.21 million barrels, or 297,000 barrels per day (bpd).
As South Korea’s No. 2 supplier, Kuwait provided 11.3% of the Asian nation’s total crude oil imports in October, compared to a 13.7% share in the same month of 2011.
In the January-October period, Kuwait increased sales to the world’s fifth-largest crude importer by 25.7% year-on-year to 110.07 million barrels (361,000 bpd).
Overall South Korea’s crude oil imports in last month fell 2.0% on the year to 81.25 million barrels (2.62 million bpd). Saudi Arabia remained its top crude supplier, although imports from the kingdom shrank 5.4% from a year earlier to 872,000 bpd.
Qatar ranked third with 281,000 bpd, down 7.3%, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 275,000 bpd, up 34.8%.
South Korea last month resumed oil imports from Iran, its fifth-biggest supplier, after halting purchases in August and September in the wake of the European Union (EU) ban on insuring Iranian oil shipments. It imported 186,000
bpd of Iranian crude, down 29.5% from a year earlier.
The insurance embargo, which came into force on July 1, is part of the EU’s broader sanctions against Iran for its nuclear programs.