Japan’s crude oil imports from Kuwait sharply declines


Tokyo : Japan’s crude oil imports from Kuwait dropped 33.2 percent in January from a year earlier and 12.0 percent from the previous month, respectively, to 8.15 million barrels for the first decline in two months, according to the latest data released by the government agency.

Support TwoCircles

Kuwait provided 5.6 percent of nation’s crude oil in the reporting month, compared with 9.1 percent in the same month of last year and 6.7 percent in December, the Japanese Natural Resources and Energy Agency, a unit of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, said in a preliminary report.

Japan is Kuwait’s largest oil buyer.

Tokyo’s overall imports of crude oil in January rose 8.6 percent year-on-year to 145.26 million barrels, the fourth straight month of increase, with imports from the Middle East accounting for 86.2 percent of the total, up 3.0 percentage points from the year before and 3.1 percent from December, respectively, for the first rise in eight months.

Saudi Arabia remained Japan’s biggest oil supplier, and imports from the country soared 33.9 percent from a year earlier to 38.80 million barrels, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 34.91 million barrels, down 7.3 percent.

Iran became third, with imports jumping 26.8 percent to 19.13 million barrels. Qatar ranked fourth with 17.78 million barrels, up 43.1 percent.

Resources-poor Japan is the world’s third-largest oil consumer after the US and China, and it relies on crude oil imports for about 50 percent of its energy needs.

Japan purchases oil through long-term contracts and direct-dealing transactions between its distributors and oil-producing nations. Shipments of direct-deal, which prices are based on the spot market price of Dubai crude, the benchmark for Asia, account for about 80 percent of its crude imports.