Japan sees Iran crude imports fall 36.4pc
Tokyo, April 27, 2012
Japan's crude oil imports from Iran fell 36.4 per cent in March from a year earlier as Western sanctions take a toll on exports from the Islamic republic, data from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) showed on Friday.
Japan, the world's third-biggest oil consumer, is reducing imports even after securing a US waiver from the sanctions. South Korea, India and China, the other three main buyers of Iran's 2.2 million barrels per day of exports, have all cut orders.
Japan's crude purchases from Iran are set to fall by almost 80 percent in April from the first two months of the year, trade sources said last week.
Imports fell to 1.33 million kilolitres (271,000 barrels per day) in March, the METI data showed. For the fiscal year ended in March the decline was 22.4 percent.
The United States last month exempted Japan and 10 EU nations from financial sanctions, citing their efforts to significantly cut purchases, while Iran's top customers China and India remain at risk of such steps.
Still, importers are cutting imports because of EU sanctions on insurance that make it impossible to find coverage for ship carrying the crude.
The United States and Europe are trying to squeeze the revenues Iran makes from its oil exports to force it to halt a nuclear programme they fear will be used to make weapons but which Tehran says is for power generation.-Reuters