South Korea’s imports of Iranian crude plummeted 86.5% year-on-year (YOY) in August, in anticipation of US sanctions set to take full effect in November, S&P Global Platts reported.

South Korea imported just 1.71 million barrels of crude and condensate from Iran in August, compared to the 12.63 million barrels imported in the same month last year, and down 72.4% from 6.20 million barrels in July.

The August figures mark the 10th consecutive monthly decline in Iranian imports since November 2017 when they fell 26.8% YOY to 10.37 million barrels.

The August purchase of 1.71 million barrels is the smallest monthly import since September 2012 when South Korea halted imports completely in the face of US sanctions.

In 2017, South Korean imports from Iran increased by 32.1% to 147.87 million barrels in total, on an upwards trend since January 2016, when US sanctions on Iran were lifted.

Across the first eight months of this year, Iranian imports fell by 42.3% YOY from 100.44 million barrels to 57.91 million barrels.