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Home / Business / Japan refineries increase US crude oil purchases as Iran sanctions threaten

Japan refineries increase US crude oil purchases as Iran sanctions threaten



TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese refineries are slowing the purchase of US crude as it is cheaper than its usual supplies in the Middle East and estimates high levels of US shale production as a replacement for deliveries from Iran it's from the industry.

FILE PHOTO: A worker walks near an entrance gate of the Sodegaura refinery at Fuji Oil Co. in Sodegaura, Japan, February 8, 201
7. REUTERS / Issei Kato / File photo

Increasing purchases from refineries such as JXTG, Emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art … = 157 & lang = DE US President Donald Trump, who urges Japan to reduce its US trade surplus to more than US $ 63 billion in 2017. Reducing the dollar should be in line with expectations.

Nearly 4 Million Barrels of US Crude Oil Arrive in Japan According to Thomson Reuters Eikon sources and shipping data, it is the world's fourth largest oil importer between June and September.

According to the latest statistics from the country's Treasury, they will import about 2.4 million barrels worth 4.81 billion yen ($ 153 million) by May.

Japan's imports of US oil are still tiny compared to total imports of around 3.2 million barrels a day in 2017. Refineries tend to buy only when lower US demand due to events such as refinery maintenance US oil prices CLc1 lowers.

For a graph on Japanese crude oil imports from the US, the price of oil rose rut.rs/2KpwjV5

Japan imported an 18-year high of 10.3 million barrels of US crude in 2017, but imports slowed in the US first five months significantly This year, as US spot crude oil prices were stronger than the Middle East benchmark Dubai. A steep rise in US production since then has widened the price gap between the two benchmarks to more than $ 5 a barrel, making US oil more attractive.

IRAN CURBS

At least one Japanese refiner has assessed US Mars crude as a potential replacement for Iranian crude as the company plans to cut Iran's loadings after September as US sanctions are reintroduced, said a source of knowledge.

"Because of (sanctions against) Iranian crude oil, we consider American heavy oil" as a substitute, according to the source, especially notes like Southern Green Canyon and Mars, which are similar to crude oil from Iran.

JXTG Holdings ( 5020.T ) recently purchased two million barrels of West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in September, as three industry sources report.

A JXTG spokesman said to individual accounts, but said: "US crude oil is one of the candidates for the replacement of Iranian oil."

Cosmo Energy Holdings ( 5021.T ) highlights from April to July also 2 million barrels of US oil, according to shipping data and a source familiar with the matter. Cosmo declined to comment, but said it buys US crude from time to time. For graphics on the map showing tankers delivering US oil to Japan, Trump said in May the United States of a 2015 deal that Tehran mitigated nuclear capabilities and ordered the resumption of US sanctions against Tehran.

On Tuesday, a senior US State Department official said the US wanted to stop all Iranian oil exports from November, with few exceptions as in previous sanctions.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also sought to ward off demands by the US president to sign a bilateral trade agreement by offering to buy American products.

"Prime Minister Abe will likely try to prepare President Trump as well as possible for trade imbalance, and purchasing crude oil is a breeze as long as the economy works," said Tony Nunan, senior oil risk manager at Mitsubishi Corp. in Tokyo.

"To replace the Iranian oil, it makes sense to choose an acid variety like Mars and Green Canyon, the problem is that these notes are also needed in the US and it's the very light sweet notes, which are in excess, "said Nunan.

This means that deliveries of the heavier varieties would probably only be available if demand in the US fell during refinery maintenance periods.

After the end of sanctions, Japan increased its purchases of Iranian crude oil and in 2017 bought on average 172,216 barrels a day (bpd) or about 5 million barrels a month.

Reporting by Florence Tan in SINGAPORE and Osamu Tsukimori in TOKYO; Writing by Aaron Sheldrick; Arrangement by Richard Pullin


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