Kuwait's crude oil exports to Japan down 20.9 %

Jan 29, 2010 01:00 AM

Kuwait's crude oil exports to Japan fell 20.9 % in December from a year earlier to 9.67 mm barrels, or 312,000 bpd, for the first decline in two months, the government said.
Kuwait supplied 7.7 % of nation's crude oil in December, compared with 9.5 % in the same month of last year and 9.2 % in November, 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 with accounting for 20 % of its total crude exports. For the full 2009, Kuwait's crude shipments to Japan stood at 111.33 mm barrels (305,000 bpd), down 4.4 % from the previous year.
Japan's overall imports of crude oil in the reporting month fell 2.6 % year-on-year to 125.72 mm barrels (4.11 mm bpd) for the 15 consecutive month of drop. Shipments from the Middle East edged up 0.2 % to 115.39 mm barrels (3.72 mm bpd), and accounted for 91.8 % of the total, up 2.6 percentage points from a year before.

Saudi Arabia remained Japan's biggest oil supplier, with imports from the kingdom shrinking 3.2 % from a year earlier to 36.32 mm barrels (1.17 mm bpd), followed by the United Arab Emirates with 26.73 mm barrels (851,000 bpd), up 2.9 %. Iran ranked third, with shipments growing 3.9 % to 16.27 mm barrels (525,000 bpd). Qatar became fourth with 13.85 mm barrels (447,000 bpd), up 0.8 %.
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 % of its energy needs. Shipments of direct-deal, whose prices are based on the average spot price of Dubai crude, the benchmark for Asia, account for about 80 % of Japan's crude imports.

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