SAUDIS OIL TO JAPAN UP 19.3%
PLATTS - Japan's crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose 19.3% month on month to an average of 1.39 million b/d in November, preliminary data released Thursday by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed.
The Saudi crude imports in November were also up 12.5% from the same period a year earlier on a barrel-per-day basis.
METI data is released in kiloliters, which S&P Global Platts converts into b/d.
Japan's crude imports from key Middle Eastern producers including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Qatar and Kuwait rose in November as various Northeast Asian end-users had switched focus away from North and Central American supply due to the onslaught of Hurricane Harvey in the late third quarter.
A string of loading schedule delays for US and Mexican crudes during August and September had encouraged many Japanese, South Korean and Chinese refining companies to concentrate their crude procurement for November delivery in the Persian Gulf market, Asian trade sources have said.
Japan's crude imports from the US fell almost 10% from October to 34,690 b/d, while the country's intake from Mexico in November tumbled 82.9% month on month to average 16,650 b/d.
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IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.