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UPDATE 1-Japan crude imports from Iran fall 51 pct in May on yr

Published: June 29, 2012 | 6:44 am
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Japan’s crude oil imports from Iran in May fell 51.1 percent from a year earlier to 128,269 barrels per day, data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) showed on Friday.

The figure differs from an annual fall of 46.5 percent in May imports from Iran reported by Japan’s Ministry of Finance on Thursday, but the oil industry considers METI figures the benchmark as they track the actual import status of oil tankers.

Japan, China, South Korea and India, the main Asian buyers of Iranian oil, have been cutting purchases in advance of United States sanctions that started on Thursday and a European Union ban on insuring Iranian tankers that goes into effect on Sunday.

Japan’s imports from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Vietnam increased in May as Japanese refiners sought alternative supplies.

Oil purchases from Vietnam more than doubled in May to 111,471 bpd, while those from Kuwait rose almost 43 percent to 280,347 bpd, the figures from METI showed. Imports from Saudi Arabia gained 8.6 percent to 1,113,994 bpd.

reuters

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