Today, a delegation of officials from South Korea will press US officials to extend a sanctions waiver agreement on Iranian oil imports.
After Washington re-imposed sanctions on Iranian oil exports, it released a flurry of waivers to import-reliant countries, including South Korea, which is allowed to import up to 200,000 bpd of oil condensate for refining purposes. Seoul is seeking an extension to the May expiry, arguing that Iran supplies 50% of its needs and no other suppliers can fill this in the short-term.
Hawkish members of the administration have pushed for waivers to expire, but others have highlighted that removing most of Iran’s 1.3 million bpd could produce significant price volatility. This would leave the US reliant on OPEC to fill any shortfalls in global markets, which has opposed lifting output recently. Seoul is therefore expected to stress that it will not be able to meet domestic needs without a waiver, pointing to data showing a decline in imports as grounds for an extension.
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Kai looks at security and political turbulence in the emerging market economies and also serves as a publisher with The Daily Brief.