Japan’s JX renews 2013 Iranian crude contract

Japan’s top oil refiner, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp, renewed its term crude contract with Iran from January next year, chairman of the company, Yasushi Kimura, told reporters on Wednesday.
JX has a term contract to buy an estimated 83,000 bpd of Iranian crude and condensate until the end of December. But volumes for next year have not yet been decided, Kimura said.

Japan imported about 160,000 bpd in October and averaged 187,717 bpd for the first ten months of this year, down 41.3 percent from a year earlier, calculations based on trade ministry data show.

“That means we would make some reductions from the current level,” Kimura said, referring to JX’s purchases of Iranian oil.

JX has put on hold the renewal of another Iranian crude contract for 10,000 bpd that expired in March.

Crude shipments from Iran have more than halved in 2012 due to the U.S. and European sanctions on its oil trade, straining Tehran’s finances, pressuring its currency and igniting inflation.

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