January 22, 2013 / 5:14 AM / 5 years ago

South Korea's 2012 Iran crude imports down 35.6 pct

SEOUL, Jan 22 (Reuters) - South Korea imported 56.15 million barrels of crude oil from Iran last year, 35.6 percent lower than a year earlier, after sanctions squeezed imports, data from state-run Korea National Oil Corp showed on Tuesday.

The world's fifth-largest crude oil buyer imported a total 79.73 million barrels of crude oil in December, down 0.8 percent on the year. Of this total, it imported 5.72 million barrels from Iran, up 24.8 percent from a year ago, the data showed.

Compared with November, the Iranian crude oil import last month was down 2.5 percent, the data added.

South Korean refiners resumed importing Iranian crude oil late in September for October arrivals, importing about 200,000 barrels per day, or full contracted volumes, after finding a way around a European Union ban on insurance cover. (Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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