Kuwait's crude oil exports to Japan shrank by 50.7 percent in April from a year earlier to 6.05 million barrels, or 202,000 barrels per day (bpd), for the fourth consecutive monthly drop, the government said Tuesday.
Kuwaiti share of Japan's crude oil imports stood at 5.7 percent last month, compared with 10.7 percent in the same month of last year and 6.2 percent in March, the Natural Resources and Energy Agency said in a preliminary report.
Japan is Kuwait's largest oil buyer with accounting for roughly 20 percent of its total crude exports of 1.3-1.5 million bpd at any given time, according the state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC).
Japan's overall imports of crude oil in April dropped 7.0 percent year-on-year to 107.0 million barrels (3.57 million bpd) for the second straight monthly decline.
Shipments from the Middle East fell 10.6 percent to 90.4 million barrels (3.
01 million bpd), and accounted for 84.5 percent of the total, down 3.5 percentage points from a year before.
Saudi Arabia remained Japan's biggest oil supplier, but imports from the kingdom plunged 18.5 percent from a year earlier to 977,000 bpd, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 833,000 bpd, up 4.2 percent. Qatar ranked third, though its shipments fell 38.4 percent to 312,000 bpd. Iran became fourth with 256,000 bpd, down 13.6 percent.
On April 18, the Kuwaiti government announced that it will donate 5 million bpd of crude oil to Japan to help the country recover from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The donation, equivalent to some USD 550 million, surpasses Japan's daily consumption of 4.4 million barrels. Meanwhile, Kuwait's crude oil exports to China hit 237,000 bpd in April, exceeding its shipments to Japan, according to government data.