Japan said its imports of Iranian crude fell in January to an average of 1.7 million kiloliters, or 344,532 barrels a day, down 12 percent from a year earlier.
Imports were up 8.5 percent from 1.6 million kiloliters, or 317,452.08 barrels a day, in December, according to data from the Ministry of Finance. January’s year-to-year decrease in imports from Iran was greater than the 2.1 percent decline in Japan’s total crude imports.
Japan, the world’s second-biggest buyer of Iran’s crude after China, is seeking an exemption to a U.S. law that would punish banks that do business with Iran.
The law, aimed at reducing Iran’s oil sales, will sanction any country’s financial institutions that do business with Iran’s central bank unless it is determined that country has made “significant reductions” in Iranian oil imports.