TOKYO: Japan last November imported 30.021 million barrels of crude oil from Saudi Arabia, or 43.4% of the Japanese total imports, according to data released on Thursday (December 31, 2020) by the Natural Resources and Energy Agency of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Tokyo.
During that month, Japan’s total crude oil imports were 69.140 million barrels of which 93.2, or 64.400 million barrels, came from Arab countries, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Algeria and the natural zone at the Saudi-Kuwaiti borders.
This shows Japan’s continued high dependence on Arab oil to generate energy for its economy. It also highlights the strategic importance of Arab countries in providing energy security for Japan, as much as Japanese market security for Arabs.
Most of the nuclear reactors are not operational in Japan since 2011 when the country was hit by a strong earthquake and massive tsunami that crippled Fukushima nuclear power station causing the worst nuclear disaster in the history.
Crude oil provides nearly 40% of Japan’s energy needs, natural gas roughly 25%, and the rest from coal, thermal and nuclear energy, in various proportions, according to preliminary data from the ministry.
In numbers, last November imports from UAE oil amounted to 19.009 million barrels, or 27.5% of the total, while imports from Qatar were 7.181 million barrels, or 10.4% of the total.
The agency data showed that in November, Japan imported 6.263 million barrels from Kuwait, or 9.1%, while Bahrain supplied 997.515 thousand barrels, or 1.4%, Oman provided 498.050 thousand barrels or 0.7%, Neutral Zone provided 323.220 thousand barrels or 0.5% and 107.232 thousand barrels (0.2%) came from Algeria.
Japan did not import crude oil from Iran in November in respect of the American sanctions against Tehran.
In November, the proportion of imported oil to Japan was about 6% of the total from none Arab countries. Malaysia provided 772.943 thousand barrels (1.1%), Russia 3.198 million barrels (4.6%), Ecuador in South America 642.163 thousand barrels (0.9%) and Papua New Guinea 126.459 thousand barrels (0.2%).
Japanese oil imports have been decreasing this year as a result of coronavirus spread causing a negative impact on economic activities especially the for the transportation and airlines sectors that import huge amounts of fuel. In October 2020 oil imports were 70.145 million barrels a big fall from the 88.260 million barrels Japan imported in November 2019, meaning a decrease of nearly 18.115 million barrels over a year includes Middle Eastern crude.
The aforementioned figures represent the quantities of oil that arrived during the month of November 2020 to the existing refineries, reservoirs and warehouses in Japan’s ports.