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Kuwait”s crude oil exports to Japan hit 42-month high

Published: September 28, 2012 | 8:04 am
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TOKYO, Sept 28 — Kuwait’s crude oil exports to Japan surged 177.6 percent in August from a year earlier to a 42-month high of 10.90 million barrels, or 352,000 barrels per day (bpd), for the first increase in two months, the government said on Friday.
The figure was the highest since February 2009, when Kuwait sold 12.40 million barrels (443,000 bpd) to Japan.
As the Asian nation’s fourth-biggest oil supplier, Kuwait provided 9.8 percent of Japan’s total crude imports, compared with 3.6 percent in the same month of last year and 4.9 percent in July, the Natural Resources and Energy Agency said in a preliminary report.
Japan’s overall imports of crude oil in August rose 2.9 percent year-on-year to 111.77 million barrels (3.61 million bpd) for the first expansion in two months.
Shipments from the Middle East accounted for 84.3 percent of the total, up 1.5 percentage points from a year before.
Saudi Arabia remained Japan’s biggest oil supplier, with imports from the kingdom growing 6.9 percent on the year to 1.09 million bpd, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 766,000 bpd, down 7.0 percent. Qatar ranked third with 476,000 bpd, up 36.9 percent and Russia fifth with 148,000 bpd, down 22.5 percent, respectively. Although the Japanese government provides insurance for tankers carrying Iranian crude bound for Japan, its imports from Iran plunged 66.8 percent to 101,000 bpd last month.
The special measure enables the world’s No.3 oil consumer to continue importing Iranian oil even after new European Union (EU) sanctions against Iran starting from July, which ban insurance firms of EU countries from covering Iran’s exports.
Japan has also secured a waiver from US financial sanctions against Iran in return for cutting its imports of Iranian crude oil. Resources-poor Japan relies on crude oil imports for about 50 percent of its energy needs. Shipments of direct-deal, which prices are based on the average spot price of Dubai crude, the benchmark for Asia, account for about 80 percent of Japan’s crude imports. (end) mk.rk KUNA 281049 Sep 12NNNN


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