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Japan imported 8.7 percent more crude oil in April than a year earlier for the second straight month of growth, the Natural Resources and Energy Agency said Monday.

Oil shipments from the Middle East accounted for 88.0 percent of the 115.04 million barrels total, down 3.4 percentage points, the agency said in a preliminary report.

Saudi Arabia remained the biggest supplier, selling Japan 35.98 million barrels, up 17.8 percent. The United Arab Emirates was second with 23.96 million barrels, up 7.9 percent, followed by Qatar, which supplied 15.22 million barrels, up 5.0 percent.

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