Kuwait's crude oil exports to Japan fell 11.5 percent in December from a year earlier to 8.91 million barrels, or 287,000 barrels per day (bpd), for the first decline in two months, government data showed, but overtook Russia to become Japan's fourth-biggest oil provider.
Last month, Kuwait supplied 7.4 percent of the Asian nation's total crude imports, Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, quoted the Japanese Natural Resources and Energy Agency as saying in a preliminary report.
In the full year 2013, Kuwait's exports to the world's third-biggest energy user totalled 92.47 million barrels (253,000 bpd), down 5.7 percent from the previous year.
Japan's overall imports of crude oil edged down 1.1 percent year-on-year to 3.87 million bpd. Shipments from the Middle East accounted for 81.7 percent of the total, up 2.8 percentage points from a year before.
Saudi Arabia remained Japan's No.1 oil supplier, with imports from the kingdom increasing 9.1 percent from a year earlier to 1.26 million bpd.