Japan’s crude imports remained subdued in January. At 2.581mn b/d, volumes are down 12% year on year, despite having recovered somewhat in recently months – the last two months are the highest since April 2020. Imports for 2020 as a whole collapsed by 18% with Japan falling below Korea for the first time (MEES, 29 January).

Saudi Arabia not only retained its habitual top supplier spot for January but saw volumes increase 11% month-on-month to 1.179mn b/d, the highest since March 2019 for a record 45.7% market share. Of the Saudi imports, 531,000 b/d was Arab Light, the most since March 2015. (CONTINUED - 95 WORDS)