Japan’s crude oil imports dropped to 3.055 million barrels per day in October, down by 5.6 percent from September, the Petroleum Association of Japan (PAJ) said on Friday.
According to the association’s supply and demand of crude oil statistics, the country imported in October a total of 15,056,810 kiloliters of crude oil which is equal to 3.055 million bpd. This compares to 3.237 million bpd imported in September. The October crude imports were the lowest level of exports so far this year.
The average oil import price stood at US$45.17 per barrel, compared to US$45.52 for September.
In addition to the decline in Japan’s crude oil imports, crude oil shipments from Iran to Japan dropped by 33 percent in October, while those from Saudi Arabia jumped by 26 percent. Japanese imports from Russia plummeted by 48 percent, while imports from Mexico, although significantly lower in volume compared to the others, soared by 232 percent.
According to ClipperData, Japan is the fourth largest importer of OPEC crude oil, although volumes were flat on year-ago levels at 2.75 million bpd. OPEC ships more than 15 million barrels per day to Asia, amounting to over 60 percent of its exports mainly to China, India, South Korea and Japan. Related: Oil Markets Not Convinced OPEC Deal Can Kill The Glut
In August of this year, Japan’s imports from Iran, for example, had jumped, with the four major Asian importers of oil increasing their imports of Iranian crude by 81.4 percent on the year in August, the highest level in at least five and a half years. In August, Japan’s imports of Iranian oil increased 31.4 percent to 235,612 bpd.
Last year, total Japanese crude oil imports fell by 2.3 percent annually to around 3.37 million bpd, the lowest level since 1988 as demand weakened.
In 2015, the Middle East accounted for 82 percent of Japan’s imports, 1.2 percentage points lower than in 2014, while Russia’s share of Japanese imports inched up by 0.7 percentage points to come in at 8.8 percent.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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