*For well over a decade Saudi Arabia had been the unrivalled number one crude and condensate supplier to Japan. Saudi market share climbed above 30% in 2011 and rose steadily to hit 40% in 2017, dipping only modestly to 38.1% for 2018. The UAE (almost all Abu Dhabi) was a distant number two for all of this period (see chart 1).
*Last year’s 1.164mn b/d imports from Saudi Arabia were also enough to make Japan the number one Saudi crude customer for the 4th straight year. Before this run began in 2015 the USA was the number one destination for Saudi crude. Perhaps surprisingly, China has never been number one on an annual basis (see chart 2). An anomaly set to be rectified this year. (CONTINUED - 911 WORDS)