Japan's dependency on Middle East crude reaches 94.5% in August -METI

Men work at a oil refinery in Sodegaura, Japan February 8, 2017. Picture taken February 8, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

TOKYO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Japanese crude oil imports from the Middle East in August rose 12.1% from a year earlier to 2.82 million barrels per day (bpd), equivalent to 13.88 million kilolitres, with Japan's dependence on the region reaching 94.5%, the industry ministry said on Friday.

Japan has stopped buying crude from Russia since June in the light of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, and Japanese refiners have sought alternatives from the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia. read more

The dependency rate on the Middle East hit 97.7% in July, the highest since statistics began in 1952, according to an official at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). But the figure in August slightly fell from the previous month as imports from the United States grew.

The dependency marked the sixth consecutive month of year-on-year increase.

Japan's total crude oil imports rose 9.3% in August from a year earlier to 2.98 million bpd (14.69 million kl).

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi Editing by Mark Heinrich

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