TOKYO, 1st February, 2016 (WAM) — Kuwait’s crude oil exports to Japan in December hit a seven-month high of 9.93 million barrels, or 320,000 barrels per day (bpd), thus remaining Japan’s third-biggest provider.

The Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, quoted a preliminary report released from the Japanese Natural Resources and Energy Agency saying that although Kuwait’s crude oil bound for Japan fell 2.5 percent from a year earlier, the figure was the highest since May, when it recorded 10.89 million barrels (351,000 bpd).

In the full year 2015, Kuwait’s exports to the world’s third-biggest energy user totaled 91.30 million barrels (250,000 bpd), up 2.3 percent from the previous year. Japan’s overall imports of crude oil declined 1.3 percent year-on-year to 3. 51 million bpd for the first drop in two months.

Shipments from the Middle East accounted for 79.8 percent of the total, up 2.5 percentage points from the year before. Saudi Arabia remained Japan’s No.1 oil supplier, with imports from the kingdom growing 5.1 percent from a year earlier to 1.16 million bpd, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 786,000 bpd, down 2.9 percent. Qatar ranked fourth with 294,000 bpd and Russia fifth with 281,000 bpd, respectively.