Japan Crude Imports for Power Plants Decline on Warmer Weather

Japanese crude imports for power generation fell 34 percent in March as higher temperatures weakened demand for heating.

Japan, the world’s third-largest oil consumer, bought 912,127 kiloliters of the fuel for electricity production, equivalent to 185,000 barrels a day, data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed today. That’s down from 1.38 million kiloliters a year earlier. Total oil purchases dipped 1.1 percent to 20.5 million kiloliters, the report showed.

Temperatures in Japan averaged 12.1 degrees Celsius (54 degrees Fahrenheit) last month, compared with 8.8 degrees in March 2012, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. Electricity generated and purchased by the country’s 10 regional power companies declined 7.1 percent from a year earlier to 76.1 billion kilowatt-hours because of the warmer weather and energy conservation measures, the Federation of Electric Power Companies said April 12.

Oil-product imports imports rose 13 percent to 3.04 million kiloliters in March, while exports increased 23 percent to 2.39 million kiloliters. Domestic oil-product sales fell 6.5 percent to 17.1 million kiloliters.

Japan’s oil purchases from Iran increased 4.5 percent to 1.39 million kiloliters. The Persian Gulf nation, restricted by international sanctions on its energy exports because of its nuclear program, was Japan’s sixth-biggest supplier after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Russia and Kuwait.

Statistics based on customs-clearance data by the Ministry of Finance showed a 51 percent decline in crude imports from Iran on April 26. Today’s trade ministry figures are based on data collected from buyers via questionnaire and include fuel in so-called bonded storage tanks that haven’t yet passed through customs.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jacob Adelman in Tokyo at jadelman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

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