×

Asian July imports of Iranian oil rise from 14-month low

* Asia imports 1.52 mln bpd in July, -7.1 pct yr/yr

* Japan imports tumble slump by a third; China up slightly

* Jan-July Asia purchases around 1.7 mln bpd, up 17 pct yr/yr

TOKYO, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Imports of Iranian crude by major buyers in Asia rose in July from a 14-month low during the previous month, as purchases from South Korea surged by nearly 30 percent and those from China held steady, offsetting declines from Japan and India. China, India, South Korea and Japan together imported 1.52 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, government and ship-tracking data showed. While imports rose from the previous month, they were down 7.1 percent from a year earlier. Iran is aiming to raise oil output to around 4 million bpd months. For the first seven months of 2017, purchases by Asia's main buyers were still up 16.6 percent from the same period in 2016 at just under 1.7 million bpd. Iran was exempted from an agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to reduce output by 1.2 million bpd, a victory for Tehran which has argued it needs to regain the market share it lost under Western sanctions over its disputed nuclear programme. The latest data showed South Korea's imports of Iranian crude rose 26.7 percent in July to 368,935 bpd. Chinese purchases were up slightly to 568,719 bpd. Japan's trade ministry on Monday released official data showing its Iranian imports fell for a third straight month in July.

The following tables show Asia's Iran crude imports in bpd for last month and the year to date.

Country July-17 July-16 yr/yr pct China 568,719 566,191 0.5 India 414,900 523,100 -20.7 Japan 167,505 256,651 34.7 Korea 368,935 291,097 26.7 Total 1,520,059 1,637,039 -7.1 Country Jan-July 2017 Jan-July 2016 yr/yr pct China 584,006 595,598 -2.0 India 521,300 368,300 41.5 Japan 166,777 213,261 -21.8 Korea 414,217 268,667 54.2 Total 1,686,300 1,445,826 16.6

(Additional reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editng by Christian Schmollinger)