Tokyo — Japan's crude oil imports from Iran dropped 42% month on month to 169,100 b/d in April, preliminary data released Thursday by the Ministry of Finance showed.
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The country's Iranian crude imports in March surged to 292,209 b/d, following the resumption of imports in February, as local refiners boosted purchases to meet term contractual requirements.
The February imports of Iranian crude stood at 76,057 b/d, marking the first import in four months, MOF data showed.
Japanese refiners suspended Iranian oil imports in April, following the US' decision to not extend sanction waivers on the import of Iranian oil for eight countries, including Japan, beyond May 2.
Both the MOF and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry release data on Japan's monthly crude imports, but their figures vary due to different accounting practices.
METI's data is based on the monthly reports it gets from refiners and trading houses, and takes into account barrels lifted during the period, including that of condensates.
MOF data comprises crude cargoes cleared by customs. It excludes condensates, but includes fuel oil, which is used as refinery feedstock.
METI's crude import data for April is due for release on Friday.
-- Takeo Kumagai, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Edited by Norazlina Jumaat, email@example.com