South Korea to restart Iran oil imports in Jan-Feb: SK Innovation CEO

South Korean and Japanese buyers were expected to restart Iranian oil imports early this year, industry sources said in November. (File/AFP)
Updated 10 January 2019
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South Korea to restart Iran oil imports in Jan-Feb: SK Innovation CEO

  • South Korea can buy up to 200,000 barrels per day of Iran oil, mostly condensate, an ultra-light form of crude oil under the waiver
  • South Korea was the third-biggest buyer of Iranian oil and the largest importer of Iranian condensate before the US sanctions were reimposed in November

LAS VEGAS: South Korean oil buyers are expected to restart Iranian oil imports in late January or early February, the head of South Korea’s SK Innovation, which owns South Korea’s biggest oil refiner SK Energy, said on Wednesday.
In November, South Korea won a six-month waiver from sanctions imposed by the United States allowing the purchase a limited amount of Iranian oil, but the country has not imported any crude from the country since September.
“As South Korea received a waiver and has been in talks with Iran about the first import volume, it seems (Iran oil) could be brought in late in January or early February at the earliest,” SK Innovation Chief Executive Officer and President Kim Jun told Reuters on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
South Korean and Japanese buyers were expected to restart Iranian oil imports early this year, industry sources said in November. South Korea can buy up to 200,000 barrels per day of Iran oil, mostly condensate, an ultra-light form of crude oil under the waiver, the sources said.
South Korea was the third-biggest buyer of Iranian oil and the largest importer of Iranian condensate before the US sanctions were reimposed in November.
Kim also said that SK Innovation, a supplier of electric vehicle (EV) batteries to Daimler and Volkswagen , may increase the investment into its US-based EV battery manufacturing business to $5 billion to secure more of the market.
“SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won expects the US battery manufacturing capacity to be 50 gigawatt-hours (GWh) by as early as 2025,” Kim said, adding that the investment will be focused in the US state of Georgia.
Late to the EV battery market compared with rivals LG Chem and Samsung SDI, SK Innovation has announced investment plans worth $3 billion since late 2017, to build new factories in China, Hungary and the US
Under this investment agenda, the company expects its battery orders to double by 2020 from 320 GWh in 2018, Kim said.


Apple’s Cook to China: keep opening for sake of global economy

Updated 23 March 2019
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Apple’s Cook to China: keep opening for sake of global economy

  • Cook’s comments come as Apple weathers sinking sales in China
  • Despite official pledges and repeated assurances that China would continue to open its markets

BEIJING: Apple chief executive Tim Cook nudged China on Saturday to open up and said the future would depend on global collaboration, as the United States and China remained locked in a bitter trade dispute.
“We encourage China to continue to open up, we see that as essential, not only for China to reach its full potential, but for the global economy to thrive,” Cook said at a China Development Forum in Beijing.
Despite official pledges and repeated assurances that China would continue to open its markets, some analysts worry that its reform project has slowed or even stalled under President Xi Jinping, who has sought greater control over the economy and a bigger role for state-owned firms at the expense of the private sector.
Cook’s comments come as Apple weathers sinking sales in China because of a contracting smartphone market, increasing pressure from Chinese rivals, and slowing upgrade cycles. The company reported a revenue drop of 26 percent in the greater China region during the quarter ending in December.
Before those results came out, in a January letter to investors, Cook blamed the company’s poor China performance on trade tension between the United States and China, suggesting that pressure on the economy was hurting sales in China.