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Tue 30 Jun 2009 01:47 PM

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Kuwait sees sharp drop in oil exports to Japan

Most Gulf producers see supply to world's third largest consumer fall sharply in May - report.

Kuwait sees sharp drop in oil exports to Japan
SUPPLY FALL: Kuwait has seen oil exports to Japan drop by 26 percent in May, to the lowest volume for nearly a year. (Getty Images)

Kuwait's crude oil exports to Japan plummeted nearly 26 percent in May from a year earlier, the lowest volume since June 2008, the government said on Tuesday.

The supply to the world's third largest consumer of oil after the US and China totalled 7.71 million barrels, or 249,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Kuwait supplied 7.3 percent of nation's crude oil in May, compared with 8.2 percent in the same month of last year and 10.0 percent in April, the Japanese Natural Resources and Energy Agency said in a preliminary report published by KUNA News Agency.

Japan's overall imports of crude oil fell 17.5 percent year-on-year to 105.33 million barrels (3.40 million bpd) - the eighth consecutive month of decline.

Shipments from the Middle East dropped 14.9 percent to 96.54 million barrels, KUNA reported.

Saudi Arabia remained Japan's biggest oil supplier, although imports from the kingdom fell 17.5 percent from a year earlier, followed by the UAE with 23.93 million barrels, down 19.1 percent. Qatar ranked third, with shipments increasing 19.3 percent to 15.40 million barrels.

Resources-poor Japan relies on crude oil imports for about 50 percent of its energy needs.

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