Kuwait's crude oil exports to Japan in December hit a 11-month high of 10.18 million barrels, or 328,000 barrels per day (bpd), up 14.3 percent from a year earlier, government data showed Friday.
The figure was the highest since January 2014, when Kuwait's crude shipments to Japan reached 11.32 million barrels (365,000 bpd), according to a preliminary report released from the Japanese Natural Resources and Energy Agency.
Kuwait overtook Qatar to become Japan's fourth-biggest oil provider last month, supplying 9.2 percent of the Asian nation's total crude imports. In the full year 2014, Kuwait's exports to the world's third-biggest energy user totaled 89.26 million barrels (245,000 bpd), down 3.5 percent from the previous year.
Japan's overall imports of crude oil fell 8.2 percent year-on-year to 3.55 million bpd for the second consecutive monthly decline. Shipments from the Middle East accounted for 77.3 percent of the total, down 4.4 percentage points from the year before. Saudi Arabia remained Japan's No.1 oil supplier, although imports from the kingdom shrank 12.2 percent from a year earlier to 1.11 million bpd, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 809,000 bpd, up 3.4 percent. Russia ranked third with 386,000 bpd and Qatar fifth with 282,000 bpd, respectively.