Japan crude imports from Iran fall 32.3 pct in Feb y/y

TOKYO, March 29 Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:36am EDT

TOKYO, March 29 (Reuters) - Japan's crude oil imports from Iran in February fell 32.3 percent from a year earlier to 953,848 kilolitres (214,268 barrels per day), the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) data showed on Friday, as the world's third-biggest oil consumer seeks a waiver from U.S. sanctions.

Japan's Ministry of Finance recently issued customs-cleared imports data from Iran, but the oil industry considers METI data as a benchmark because it tracks the actual import status of oil tankers. (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Shinichi Saoshiro)