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UPDATE 2-Japan's 2013 LNG imports hit record high on nuclear woes

* 2013 LNG imports at 87.49 mln T, up 0.2 pct yr/yr
    * 2013 crude imports fall 0.6 pct to 2-year low
    * Dec LNG imports rise 4.9 pct to 8.09 mln T

 (Adds thermal coal imports hit record in 2013)
    TOKYO, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Japan's imports of liquefied
natural gas (LNG) rose to another record in 2013 as the
country's second complete shutdown of its nuclear stations since
the Fukushima disaster in 2011 forced utilities to burn more
fossil fuels to generate power.
    The soaring cost of fuel imports let Japan to post a record
annual trade gap of 11.47 trillion yen ($112.06 billion) in
2013, up from 6.94 trillion yen in the previous year and a third
straight year of deficit. 
    LNG imports increased 0.2 percent to 87.49 million tonnes
last year, the Ministry of Finance said in preliminary trade
figures on Monday.
    Japan's crude oil imports in 2013 fell 0.6 percent to 3.65
million barrels per day (211.717 million kilolitres), a two-year
low.
    Thermal coal imports, used mainly for power generation, also
rose 1.3 percent to a record 109.03 million tonnes last year,
reflecting a rise in coal-fired power plants' capacity.
    Japan, the world's top importer of liquefied natural gas
(LNG), paid a record 7.06 trillion yen ($68.98 billion) last
year for LNG, overturning a previous record in 2012.
    In December, Japan imported 8.09 million tonnes of LNG, up
4.9 percent from a year earlier and the highest since January
2013.
    Imports of thermal coal for power generation rose 17.5
percent to 9.97 million tonnes last month, a record for
December, the data showed.
    The volume of Japan's customs-cleared crude oil imports rose
0.2 percent in December to 4 million barrels per day (19.73
million kilolitres) from a year earlier. 
    
    Following is a preliminary breakdown of energy imports for
last month, with volumes of crude, oil products and
gasoline/naphtha in million kilolitres; LNG, LPG and coal in
million tonnes; values in million yen.
         Fuel type   Volume   Yr/Yr(%)        Value   Yr/Yr(%)
     Mineral Fuels      n/a        n/a   2,711,285        24.2
         Crude Oil   19.730        0.2   1,418,744        23.1
      Oil products      n/a        n/a     271,006         6.5
   (Mogas/naphtha)    2.459       -4.9     168,871        17.9
               LNG    8.085        4.9     689,480        33.1
               LPG    1.138        4.3     114,805        18.8
              Coal   17.461       20.7     208,381        30.7
    (Thermal Coal)    9.965       17.5     107,553        27.8
    Following is a preliminary breakdown of energy imports in
2013, with volumes of crude, oil products and gasoline/naphtha
in million kilolitres; LNG, LPG and coal in million tonnes;
values in million yen.
         Fuel type    Volume   Yr/Yr(%)        Value   Yr/Yr(%)
     Mineral Fuels       n/a        n/a   27,435,268       13.9
         Crude Oil   211.717       -0.6   14,240,822       16.3
      Oil products       n/a        n/a    2,712,366       10.2
   (Mogas/naphtha)    27.707        0.7    1,781,690       19.8
               LNG    87.491        0.2    7,056,795       17.5
               LPG    12.120       -8.2    1,071,231        4.8
              Coal   191.544        3.5    2,298,881       -0.9
    (Thermal Coal)   109.029        1.3    1,170,044        2.0
 
($1 = 102.3550 Japanese yen)

 (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Aaron Sheldrick and
Ed Davies)
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