December 28, 2011 / 8:03 AM / in 8 years

Japan's Nov crude imports from Iran tumble, tanker delay cited

TOKYO, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Japan's crude imports from
Iran tumbled 38 percent last month to 1.09 million kiloliters
(228,000 barrels per day) from a year earlier, a decline that a
source at an importer attributed to a delay in at least one
tanker arrival rather than sanctions-related problems.	
     Iran is facing the threat of fresh sanctions from the
United States and European Union over its nuclear programme that
could prevent Asian refiners from paying for Iran's oil, and
European refiners from buying it.  	
    Tokyo and other Asian buyers, such as South Korea and India,
have been working diplomatic channels to prevent planned U.S.
sanctions against Tehran from impacting oil shipments, as they
worry about global fuel costs and the strain on fragile
economies. 	
    The source at the importer said that at least one Japanese
buyer lifted Iranian crude last month but the barrels did not
arrive by the end of the month as a tanker was delayed.	
    There were similar declines in June and July of this year
due to the timing of tanker arrivals.	
    He added that the sharp decline was not due to cuts in
contractual term volumes by Japanese buyers as most contracts
renew in January or April.	
    Both houses of the U.S. Congress this month passed a defense
bill that included provisions that would impose sanctions on
foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran's
central bank, the main conduit for its oil revenues.	
    Following table shows Japan's Iran crude imports so far this
year in barrels per day and year-on-year percentage changes,
calculated by Reuters using the trade ministry's data.	
  	
    Month        bpd    Yr/Yr
      Jan   437,104      5.9 
      Feb   470,785     16.6 
      Mar   425,353     -3.8 
      Apr   255,885    -13.6 
      May   262,327    -15.2 
      Jun   194,557    -36.5 
      Jul   301,926    -34.4 
      Aug   304,681      5.6 
      Sep   292,526    -20.4 
      Oct   262,546      2.3 
      Nov   228,441    -38.0 
  Jan-Nov   311,785    -12.3 
 	
 (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
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