UPDATE 1-Japan's 2012 LNG imports at record high on nuclear woes

Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:27am IST

(Recasts, adds detail, tables)
    TOKYO, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Japan's LNG imports soared 11.2
percent to a record high of 87.31 million tonnes in 2012, driven
by an increased need for fuel to generate electricity after the
nuclear sector was hit by the Fukushima crisis, government data
showed on Thursday.
    Japan logged a record trade deficit of 6.927 trillion yen 
($78.24 billion) in 2012 as the debt crisis in the euro zone and
a territorial row with China hurt exports, while the shutdown of
nuclear power plants after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami
pushed up energy imports. 
    Japan is the world's top importer of liquefied natural gas 
(LNG) and last year's shipments were also a record in value
terms at 6 trillion yen, overturning a previous record in 2011.
    Crude oil imports by the world's third-biggest oil consumer
totalled 213.03 million kilolitres (3.66 million barrels per
day) in 2012, rising 2.0 percent from a 22-year low in 2011, the
customs-cleared data from the Ministry of Finance also showed.
    Japan paid a record price for crude at $114.90 per barrel
last year, compared with $108.65 in 2011. 
    In December, Japan's customs-cleared crude oil imports fell
0.8 percent to 19.687 million kilolitres (3.99 million barrels
per day) from a year earlier, the preliminary data showed. 
    That compared with imports of 19.842 million in December
2011 and November imports of 16.096 million kl. 
    LNG imports were 7.705 million tonnes last month, the
highest for the month of December and up 7.4 percent from a year
earlier. Imports of thermal coal for power generation fell 2.8
percent in December to 8.478 million tonnes, the data showed.
    
   Following is a preliminary breakdown of energy imports for
last month, with volumes of crude, oil products and
gasoline/naphtha in million kilolitres; LNG, LPG and coal in
million tonnes; values in million yen. 
        Fuel type  Volume  Yr/Yr(%)       Value  Yr/Yr(%)
    Mineral Fuels     n/a       n/a  2,181,703        4.5
        Crude Oil  19.687      -0.8  1,151,581        4.2
     Oil products     n/a       n/a    254,823       18.3
  (Mogas/naphtha)   2.584       9.7    143,200       22.1
              LNG   7.705       7.4    517,825        8.3
              LPG   1.091     -17.0     96,715       13.5
             Coal  14.467       0.3    159,240      -20.6
   (Thermal Coal)   8.478      -2.8     83,989      -14.0
 
     Following is a preliminary breakdown of energy imports in
2012, with volumes of crude, oil products and gasoline/naphtha
in million kilolitres; LNG, LPG and coal in million tonnes;
values in million yen.
    
       Fuel type   Volume  Yr/Yr(%)        Value  Yr/Yr(%)
   Mineral Fuels      n/a       n/a  24,078,210       10.4
       Crude Oil  213.033       2.0  12,247,589        7.3
    Oil products      n/a       n/a   2,460,620       10.5
 (Mogas/naphtha)   27.520      -3.9   1,486,686       -3.0
             LNG   87.314      11.2   6,001,494       25.4
             LPG   13.200       5.8   1,021,093       14.5
            Coal  185.151       5.7   2,314,166       -5.9
  (Thermal Coal)  107.716       6.5   1,141,598        2.7
 ($1 = 88.5400 Japanese yen)

 (Reporting by Risa Maeda and Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Ed
Davies)
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