South Korean imports of Iranian crude oil dropped by 39.3% year-on-year (Y.o.Y) in March, the county’s customs data showed, according to the Financial Tribune.

South Korea, the world’s fifth-biggest crude oil purchaser, bought 1.37 million tons (324,612 barrels per day b/d) of Iranian crude in March 2018 compared to 2.26 million tons (mt) in March 2017.

South Korean condensate buyers have been seeking to diversify supplies with the possibility of the reimposition of US sanctions on Iran.

South Korean imports from Iran recorded 3.45 mt (280,736 b/d) in Q1 2018, a 39.4% decrease from the 5.69 mt imported in Q1 of 2017.

Korean imports of Qatari crude for January to March 2018 saw a 2.4% increase in comparison to the same period in 2017, up from 2.14 mt to 2.19 mt (178,652 b/d).

Overall, South Korea’s March crude oil imports were 10.91 mt (2.58 mb/d), down 14% from 12.68 mt from last year.