26 October 2001, 09:31  Japan's Sept. crude oil imports up for 1st time in 6 months

TOKYO, Oct. 26 (Kyodo) - Japan imported 125.92 million barrels (20.02 million kiloliters) of crude oil in September, up 12.7% from a year earlier for the first upturn in half a year, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Friday. Imports from the Middle East, which expanded 18.0% to 110.24 million barrels (17.53 million kl), accounted for 87.5% of the total, up from 84.5% in August. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) remained the biggest oil supplier to Japan for the second month in a row, with imports up 4.6% to 30.38 million barrels (4.83 million kl). Saudi Arabia was second with a 29.4% surge to 26.53 million barrels (4.22 million kl), followed by Iran with 18.21 million barrels (2.90 million kl), up 29.2%, Qatar with 12.57 million barrels (2.0 million kl), up 20.3%, and Kuwait with 7.91 million barrels (1.26 million kl), up 3.7%. Domestic output of petroleum products fell 5.0% to 17.27 million kl for the third straight monthly decline, with declines in heavy fuel oil, jet fuel oil and gasoline more than offsetting gains in naphtha and kerosene. Sales in Japan of petroleum products were down for the eighth successive month, by 6.7% to 17.99 million kl, as heavy fuel oil for use in power generation, gasoline and gas oil dropped, the ministry said.

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