German exporters set for 2012 record trade surplus

Updated 14 November 2012
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German exporters set for 2012 record trade surplus

Germany is set for a record trade surplus this year, increasing 10 percent compared to 2011, to reach 174 billion euros ($ 221 billion), the BGA German federation of exporters and wholesalers said Tuesday.
"Despite a weakening at the end of the year, our foreign trade is facing a new all-time high this year," its president Anton Boerner said in a written statement.
Exports, which remain the motor of the German economy, Europe's biggest, are expected to grow by four percent to 1.1 trillion euros in 2012 while imports are set for three-percent growth to 929 billion euros, in nominal terms, it said.
Boerner reiterated that the volume of foreign trade, or the total of exports and imports, would surpass the 2.0-trillion-euro mark this year for the first time.
But the federation remains cautious. "The debt crisis with all its dangers will accompany Germany for a long time yet," its president warned.
In April, the BGA forecast a stable trade surplus of 159 billion euros for 2012 compared with the year earlier but has since revised downwards its projections for imports and, to a lesser extent, exports.


South Korea imports no Iran oil in November despite sanctions waiver

Updated 16 December 2018
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South Korea imports no Iran oil in November despite sanctions waiver

SEOUL: South Korea did not import any Iranian oil for the third straight month in November, customs data showed on Saturday, even though it has a waiver from sanctions targeting crude supplies from the Middle Eastern country.
South Korea and seven other countries were in early November granted temporary waivers from US sanctions that kicked in that month over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.
But it kept imports at zero as buyers have been in talks with Iran over new contracts, with industry sources previously saying they expected arrivals to resume in late January or February.
With no Iranian cargoes arriving for three months, South Korea’s imports of oil from the nation were down 57.9 percent at 7.15 million tons in January-November, or 157,009 barrels per day (bpd), the customs data showed. That compares to nearly 17 million tons in the same period in 2017.
South Korea is usually one of Iran’s major Asian customers. Although the exact volumes it has been allowed to import under the waiver have not been disclosed, sources with knowledge of the matter say it can buy up to 200,000 bpd, mostly condensate.
Condensate is an ultra light oil used to make fuels such as naphtha and gasoline.
But as Iranian condensate supply has been limited due to the sanctions and rising domestic demand in Iran, South Korean buyers have been looking for alternatives from places such as Qatar.
In total, South Korea imported 12.71 million tons of crude oil in November, up 1.2 percent from 12.59 million tons a year earlier, according to the data.
South Korea’s crude oil imports from January to November inched up 0.6 percent from the year before to 131.23 million tons.
Final data on November crude oil imports is due later this month from state-run Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC).