Feb. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s crude imports from Iran in January fell 23 percent from a year ago to 1.67 million kiloliters, or 338,900 barrels a day, according to data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Oil purchases from Saudi Arabia rose 20 percent to 6.52 million kiloliters in the month. Japan’s total crude imports dropped 1.9 percent to 19.41 million kiloliters, according to the data. Oil product exports fell 41 percent to 1.544 million kiloliters, while imports gained 10 percent to 3.17 million kiloliters, the data showed today.
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 nation is proposing the U.S. to cut imports from Iran by at least 11 percent annually from this year. The government has yet to reach an agreement and is still negotiating with the U.S., Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said last week.
The law, aimed at reducing Iran’s oil sales, will sanction any country’s financial institutions that deals with Iran’s central bank unless it’s determined that country has made “significant reductions” in Iranian oil imports.
The following table shows breakdown of grades Japan imported from Iran and Saudi Arabia in January.
============================================================= Iran January Year-on-Year Change Iranian Light 83,052 -56.9% Iranian Heavy 682,903 -19.4% Bahregan 30,947 -- Forozan Blend 449,890 -28.2% Kangan Condensate 43,205 -- South Pars Condensate 192,931 -45.8% Soroush 187,595 -- Total 1,670,523 -22.5% ============================================================= Saudi Arabia January Year-on-Year Change Arabian Light 2,128,869 30.7% Arabian Heavy 665,567 23.9% Arabian Medium 1,023,682 93.8% Arabian Extra Light 2,464,503 -3.7% Arabian Super Light 233,531 19.1% Total 6,516,152 19.6% =============================================================
Note: Figures are in kiloliters. Source: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
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