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Kyodo News

Crude oil imports rose 13.8 percent in January from a year earlier to 145.49 million barrels, up for the third consecutive month, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Friday.

Imports from the Middle East increased 10.6 percent to 123.03 million barrels, but their share of the total fell 2.5 percentage points to 84.5 percent.

The United Arab Emirates remained Japan’s biggest oil supplier, with imports rising 20.6 percent to 32.58 million barrels, followed by Saudi Arabia, from which imports fell 8.4 percent to 31.7 million barrels.

Iran was the third-largest oil supplier with 21.32 million barrels, up 60.4 percent, followed by Qatar with 12.08 million barrels, down 6.7 percent, and Kuwait with 11.32 million barrels, up 20 percent.

Domestic output of petroleum products rose 3.2 percent from a year earlier to 20.62 million kiloliters. One kiloliter is about 6.29 barrels. Domestic sales grew 5.8 percent to 23.19 million kiloliter.

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