*Japan sourced a quarterly record 93.5% of crude and condensate imports from Middle East countries for Q3 2021. This echoes import stats for Asian and global number one importer China, which also sourced a record share of imports from the Middle East for Q3 (MEES, 22 October). In contrast, South Korea and Taiwan saw the Mideast share of their imports fall to record lows (MEES, 15 October).
*But whilst Chinese import volumes have been on a long-term upward trend (notwithstanding a dip this year), Japan’s volumes have been falling for years. With 2.42mn b/d for 9M 2021 Japan has fallen below South Korea (2.58mn b/d) as Asia’s number three and global number four crude importer. Even Q3’s Mideast volumes of 2.28mn b/d are way down on the annual record of 3.63mn b/d set in 2008 when Japan imported a total of 4.18mn b/d. (CONTINUED - 372 WORDS)