• 1 October 2018 - 10:16
  • News Code: 92038
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Japan's crude oil imports from Iran jumped 65% year on year in August, marking the fourth consecutive month of increase, according to government trade data released.

This signals domestic refiners' efforts to take as many cargoes as possible before US sanctions against Iran come into effect in November.

The 65% rise lifted Japan's imports of Iranian crude oil to 177,475 b/d in August, contributing to the 5.9% year on year rise in overall crude imports to 3.39 million b/d in the month, preliminary data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) showed, spglobal reported.

mports of Iranian crude in August edged down 3.3% from July, but the Persian Gulf producer was the fifth-largest supplier to Japan in the month, accounting for 5.2% of the total volume, according to METI data.

METI publishes its data in kiloliters, which S&P Global Platts converts to barrels. Japan's oil imports from Iran have surged since May as domestic refiners rushed to secure as many cargoes as possible before US sanctions return.

Accordingly, Japan's crude oil imports from Iran over January-August averaged 166,890 b/d, up 4.8% from a year earlier. Japanese refiners have urged the government to seek a waiver from the US as they are keen to continue importing usual volumes of Iranian crude.

Japan remains firmly committed to seeking US exemption for Iranian oil imports as it sees the supply as important for the country's energy security and business, Ryo Minami, METI's director-general of oil, gas and mineral resources, told S&P Global Platts previously.

US President Donald Trump said on May 8 that the US would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions that have been frozen since January 2016 as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

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