Japan’s crude oil imports fell to a 39-year low in 2018

According to the news, Japan’s oil imports fell to the lowest level since 1979 in 2018, while LNG imports and coal imports also declined, reflecting the country’s population decline and slowing economic growth. These data also highlight the rise in energy efficiency and the emergence of alternative fuels for power generation and transportation, while Japan’s growth in nuclear output last year further reduced fossil fuel imports.


Japan’s Ministry of Finance said Wednesday that crude oil imports cleared by Japanese Customs fell 5.8% year on year in 2018. Preliminary data show that Japan, the world’s fourth largest importer of crude oil, imported 3 million barrels of crude oil a day last year, or 17587 million litres. A customs official said it was the lowest level since records began in 1979.

Nevertheless, as the average annual price of crude oil rises, import costs have risen by 25% over the same period last year. LNG imports fell by 0.9% to 82.8554 million tons, the lowest since 2011, but their value increased by 21%. Japan is the world’s largest importer of liquefied natural gas. Data show that imports of power coal for power generation fell by 0.6% to 136.7 million tons in 2018.

Japan’s imports of fossil fuels in December of last year and the whole year of 2018 showed a daily output of 1 million barrels of crude oil, 1 million litres of petroleum products and gasoline/naphtha, and 1 million tons of liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and coal, valued at millions of yen.