Japan's November oil imports rise 10.8% on year

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 29 -- Japan's Natural Resources and Energy Agency (NREA) said the country’s imports of crude oil in November rose 10.8% from a year earlier to 122.09 million bbl.

It also marked the first sequential increase in 2 months, officials said.

Oil shipments from the Middle East accounted for 86.2% of Japan’s total imports, down 3.8%, said NREA, a division of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.

Saudi Arabia remained Japan's chief supplier of oil, exporting 38.24 million bbl, down 0.4%. The UAE followed with 22.14 million bbl, down 3.8%, while Qatar, which supplied 15.1 million bbl, rose 24.6%.

NREA earlier reported Japan’s oil imports in October fell 5.8% from a year earlier to 105.23 million bbl, marking the first decline in 4 months.

It said oil shipments from the Middle East still accounted for 86.3% of total imports, down 3.5%.

Saudi Arabia remained Japan’s biggest oil supplier, exporting 28.12 million bbl, down 4.5%; with the UAE second at 22.33 million bbl, down 19.3%; followed by Qatar, with 11.01 million bbl, down 20.1%.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, Japan was the second-largest net importer of oil in the world after the US in 2009, having imported about 4.7 million b/d.

“Japan is currently looking towards Russia, Southeast Asia, and Africa to geographically diversify its oil imports,” EIA said, adding 80% of Japanese oil imports originate in the Middle East, up from 70% in the mid-1980s.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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