Japanese crude oil imports rose by 6% in July compared with June, according to monthly petroleum data issued by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) on 31 August. July 2012 imports were 2.4% lower than in the same month last year. As usual, Saudi Arabia was Japan’s largest supplier, with deliveries averaging almost 1.13mn b/d. Japan imported no crude oil in July from Iran – usually one of its largest suppliers – after tighter sanctions against Iran’s oil sector came into effect on 1 July.