South Korea’s imports of crude and condensate from Iran hit an 18-month high of 1.45mn tons in April, according to freshly-released official statistics.

This equates to around 377,000 b/d presuming an even split in volumes between condensate and Iran’s medium-to-heavy crude. The bumper volumes suggest stockpiling before Korea halted buying in advance of the 2 May end of an 180 day waiver period on US sanctions.

The bumper April volumes came on top of 304,000 b/d for March (...