Kuwait's crude oil exports to Japan rose 11.4 percent in September from a year earlier to 8.79 million barrels, or 293,000 barrels per day (bpd), for the first increase in two months, government data showed Thursday. As Japan's fifth-biggest oil provider, Kuwait supplied 7.9 percent of the Asian nation's total crude imports, compared with 7.3 percent in the same month of last year, the Japanese Natural Resources and Energy Agency said in a preliminary report. Japan's overall imports of crude oil in September grew 2.9 percent year-on-year to 110.69 million barrels (3.56 million bpd) for the first gain in two months. Shipments from the Middle East accounted for 83.2 percent of the total, down 5.2 percentage points from a year before.
Saudi Arabia remained Japan's No.1 oil supplier, although imports from the kingdom shrank 15.8 percent from a year earlier to 944,000 bpd, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 932,000 bpd, up 9.3 percent. Qatar ranked third with 394,000 bpd and Russia fourth with 317,000 bpd, respectively. During Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Kuwait last month, Abe and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah welcomed Kuwait's commitment to supplying oil to Japan in a continuous and stable manner. They also welcomed the energy cooperation between the two countries, particularly joint investment in refinery projects in third countries.