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Asian imports of Iranian oil fall from 6-mth high

* Asia imports fall first time since June

* India imports decline nearly 40 pct South Korea purchases surge more than 80 pct

TOKYO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Imports of Iranian crude by major buyers in Asia fell in October from a sixth-month high hit the previous month, dropping for the first time since June, with South Korea the only big Asian importer to increase loadings. China, India, Japan and South Korea imported almost 1.75 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, up 11.4 percent from a year ago, government and ship-tracking data showed. Asian purchases remain below highs touched earlier this year and last year as Tehran ramped up exports after the lifting of sanctions that had targeted its disputed nuclear program. Arrivals for November, though, are likely to show a further drop as oil loadings bound for Asia fell below 1.5 million bpd in October, a person with knowledge of Iran's tanker schedules told Reuters late last month. Tehran is pushing to retain its prized Asian customers, hoping price reductions will boost the appeal of its crude compared with other Middle Eastern grades even as the potential threat of a renewal of U.S. sanctions looms. India's imports from Iran fell 38.9 percent to about 467,000 bpd last month from a year earlier. China, the biggest buyer, purchased 11.5 percent less oil from Iran year-on-year, taking around 685,000 bpd. South Korea's imports surged nearly 90 percent in October from the previous year to almost 427,000 bpd. Imports to Japan, which announced official figures on Thursday, were down by nearly 20 percent from a year earlier at 165,000 bpd. The tables below outline Iran crude imports in bpd by Asia's biggest buyers for last month and year-to-date.

Country Oct-17 Oct-16 yr/yr pct China 685,150 773,860 -11.5 India 467,600 765,500 -38.9 Japan 165,535 201,847 -18.0 Korea 426,710 227,452 87.6 Total 1,744,995 1,968,659 -11.4 Country Jan-Oct 2017 Jan-Oct 2016 yr/yr pct China 634,749 618,866 2.6 India 486,400 454,000 7.1 Japan 165,405 224,166 -26.2 Korea 423,651 278,882 51.9 Total 1,710,205 1,575,914 8.5

(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick and Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Tom Hogue)