Crude Import Cost May Rise 29% for U.S., EU, Japan, IEA Says

The cost of oil imports for the U.S., European Union and Japan may rise about 29 percent to $900 billion this year if crude prices average $100 a barrel, according to estimates from the International Energy Agency.

This would be almost $200 billion more than the U.S., Europe and Japan might have to spend on crude imports this year, “potentially threatening their economic recoveries,” Fatih Birol, the Paris-based agency’s chief economist, said today in an e-mail.

The U.S. may pay $385 billion for oil imports this year if crude averages $100 a barrel, compared with $305 billion in 2010, the IEA estimated. Fuel shipments to the EU are projected to cost $375 billion, versus $299 billion last year, it said.

The agency previously estimated oil import costs for its 28 member countries at $790 billion at the end of 2010, according to a Jan. 5 statement on the IEA’s website.

The increase in import costs, “triggered by high oil prices, is equal to a loss of income of 0.5 percent of the OECD countries’ combined gross domestic product,” the agency said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lananh Nguyen in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.