Kuwait's crude oil exports to Japan fell 36.2 percent in November from a year earlier to 6.02 million barrels, or 201,000 barrels per day (bpd), for the first decline in two months, the government said Friday.
As Japan's fifth-biggest oil provider, Kuwait supplied 6.1 percent of the Asian nation's total crude imports, compared with 8.8 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 slid 7.6 percent year-on-year to 3.29 million bpd for the third straight monthly decrease. Shipments from the Middle East accounted for 81.5 percent of the total, down 7.2 percentage points from a year before.
Saudi Arabia remained in the top spot, although imports from the kingdom edged down 0.8 percent from a year earlier to 1.12 million bpd, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 722,000 bpd, down 12.3 percent. Qatar ranked third with 268,000 bpd, down 39.1 percent and Russia fourth with 252,000 bpd, up 185.3 percent, respectively. Although the Japanese government provides insurance for tankers carrying Iranian crude bound for Japan, imports from Iran plunged 20.3 percent last month to 182,000 bpd.
The special measure enables the world's No.3 oil consumer to continue importing Iranian oil even after new European Union (EU) sanctions against Iran starting from July, which ban insurance firms of EU countries from covering Iran's exports. Japan has also secured a waiver from US financial sanctions against Iran in return for cutting its imports of Iranian crude oil.