According to reports, Japan’s crude oil imports have been steadily declining over the past few years. Japan is one of the world’s largest oil consumers, relying heavily on imports due to low domestic production. Two decades of weak economic growth, aging and declining population, and increased energy efficiency have led to a steady decline in the country’s crude oil imports.
Japan’s crude oil imports fell by 5.4% in 2018 to 149.2 million tonnes. This number declined by another 2.3% in 2019 to 145.8 million tonnes. Japan was one of the countries that managed to control the Coronavirus epidemic properly. However, the impact of the virus on the Japanese economy has been significant. Notably, demand has declined for the country’s exports.
Japan imported 74.9 million tonnes of crude oil by the sea in the first seven months of 2020. This is 13% less than 86 million tonnes imported in the same period in 2019.
Japan’s oil import has been deteriorating since May
Japan’s crude imports fell to 10.1 million tonnes in May this year. It was down by 12.9% from April and 17.4% from the same month in 2019. Japan’s imports fell further in June to 7.3 million tonnes, with a 27.2% decline from the previous month and a 33.3% drop from the same month in 2019.
In July, Japan’s oil imports rose moderately to 9.3 million. The figure was 27.2% higher than the previous month but still down 25.5% from 2019.
Japan has always depended on imports from the Middle East. 91.5% of Japan’s oil imports in the first seven months of 2020 came from the Persian Gulf countries. Imports from Saudi Arabia fell by 11.4% year-on-year to 28.8 million tonnes, up from 32.2 million tonnes last year. Saudi Arabia currently accounts for 38.4% of Japan’s oil imports.
The country’s oil imports from the United States have dropped significantly in 2020. They decreased by 77% in the first seven months of this year from 2019. Japan imported only 0.6 million tonnes of oil from the United States during this period.