Saudis lose South Korea oil market share to Iran
Figures show that Saudi Arabia has lost a significant share of South Korea’s oil market to Iran.
The latest market figures show that South Korea’s imports of crude oil from Iran doubled in January.
Preliminary customs data show that Iran exported around 1.79 million tons of crude oil to Asia’s fourth largest oil buyer in January.
The figure – which is equal to around 425,000 barrels per day (bpd) – is almost two times higher than that of the same period last year, Reuters said in a report.
This development takes market share away from Iran’s key rival, Saudi Arabia, added the report which was also carried by OilPrice.com.
South Korea’s imports of crude oil from Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia dropped by 17.3 percent in January compared to December 2016, to 785,084 bpd, as the Saudis are complying with a supply-cut deal agreed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
South Korea’s total crude oil imports from all oil-exporting nations increased by 14 percent annually to 2.93 million bpd in January, add the report quoting preliminary figures released by South Korea’s customs office.
But the total January imports were 6.3 percent lower than the imports for December 2016, it said.
Among producers, Iran was the biggest beneficiary of a recent rise in South Korea’s consumption, with imports from it skyrocketing by 147.7 percent on Q3 2015.
Last December, OPEC reached a Saudi-proposed deal to reduce production by 1.2 million bpd but exempted Iran from any production cuts.
Among producers, Iran was the biggest beneficiary of the rise in South Korea’s consumption, with imports from it skyrocketing by 147.7 percent on Q3 2015, Reuters further added in its report.
Platts energy news service in a report last week announced that Iran’s exports in January rose by 3 percent. It added that Iran was the only Middle Eastern producer to see exports rise last month, as others, like Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, saw a fall in loadings, in line with agreed OPEC-led output cuts by crude producers.