Kuwait's crude oil exports to Japan fell 56.2 percent in August from a year earlier to 3.93 million barrels, or 127,000 barrels per day (bpd), for the first drop in two months, the government said Friday.
Kuwaiti share of Japan's crude oil imports stood at 3.6 percent last month, compared with 8.6 percent in the same month of last year and 9.4 percent in July, the Natural Resources and Energy Agency said in a preliminary report.
Japan's overall imports of crude oil in the reporting month shrank 2.5 percent year-on-year to 108.63 million barrels (3.50 million bpd) for the sixth straight month of decline. Shipments from the Middle East fell 4.8 percent to 2.90 million bpd, and accounted for 82.8 percent of the total, down 2.0 percentage points from a year before.
Saudi Arabia remained Japan's biggest oil supplier, although imports from the kingdom fell 2.7 percent from a year earlier to 1.02 million bpd, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 824,000 bpd, up 22.1 percent.
Qatar ranked third, with shipments plunging 28.7 percent to 348,000 bpd.
Resources-poor Japan is the world's third-largest oil consumer after the US and China, and it relies on crude oil imports for about 50 percent of its energy needs.
Shipments of direct-deal, which prices are based on the average spot price of Dubai crude, the benchmark for Asia, account for about 80 percent of Japan's crude imports.