Japan's oil imports fall in Aug. for 1st time in 3 months

Japan's crude oil imports in August decreased 4.5 percent from a year earlier to 106.68 million barrels, marking the first fall in three months, the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy said Monday.

Oil from the Middle East accounted for 83.7 percent of the total, down 0.6 percentage point, the agency under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a preliminary report.

Saudi Arabia remained Japan's biggest oil supplier, exporting 36.29 million barrels, up 7.7 percent. The United Arab Emirates was second with 19.18 million barrels, down 19.1 percent, followed by Qatar with 13.59 million barrels, down 7.9 percent.

One barrel equals 0.159 kiloliter.

Japan's output of petroleum products in August rose 0.4 percent from a year earlier to 16.50 million kl, the fourth consecutive monthly rise.

Domestic sales of such products fell 4.6 percent to 15.96 million kl.