Japan's crude oil imports dropped to 3.055 million barrels per day in October, down by 5.6 % from September, the Petroleum Association of Japan (PAJ) reported on December 10, 2016.
According to the association's supply and demand of crude oil statistics, the country imported in October a total of 15,056,810 kiloliters of crude oil which is equal to 3.055 million bpd.
This compares to 3.237 million bpd imported in September. The October crude imports were the lowest level of exports so far this year.
The average oil import price stood at $45.17 per barrel, compared to $45.52 for September.
In addition to the decline in Japan's crude oil imports, crude oil shipments from Iran to Japan dropped by 33% in October, while those from Saudi Arabia jumped by 26%.
Japanese imports from Russia plummeted by 48%, while imports from Mexico, although significantly lower in volume compared to the others, soared by 232%.
According to ClipperData, Japan is the 4th largest importer of OPEC crude oil, although volumes were flat on year-ago levels at 2.75 million bpd.
OPEC ships more than 15 million barrels per day to Asia, amounting to over 60% of its exports mainly to China, India, South Korea and Japan.
In August of this year, Japan's imports from Iran, for example, had jumped, with the 4 major Asian importers of oil increasing their imports of Iranian crude by 81.4% on the year in August, the highest level in at least 5,5 years. In August, Japan's imports of Iranian oil increased 31.4% to 235,612 bpd.
Last year, total Japanese crude oil imports fell by 2.3% annually to around 3.37 million bpd, the lowest level since 1988 as demand weakened.
In 2015, the Middle East accounted for 82% of Japan's imports, 1.2 percentage points lower than in 2014, while Russia's share of Japanese imports inched up by 0.7 percentage points to come in at 8.8% .