Kuwait's crude oil exports to Japan in February hit a six-month high of 8.08 million barrels, or 288,000 barrels per day (bpd), government data showed Friday.

Kuwait's oil bound for Japan surged 21 percent from a year earlier, up for the third month in a row, the Japanese Natural Resources and Energy Agency said in a preliminary report.

The volume was the biggest since last August on daily basis, when it recorded 310,000 bpd.

Kuwait was Japan's third largest oil provider in February, supplying 10.6 percent of the Asian nation's total crude imports, compared with 8.5 percent in the same month of last year.

Japan's overall imports of crude oil in the reporting month declined 2.6 percent year-on-year to 2.73 million bpd, down for the first time in two months.

Shipments from the Middle East accounted for 98.1 percent of the total, up 7.8 percentage points from the year before.

Saudi Arabia remained in the top spot, with imports growing 5.8 percent from the year before to 1.18 million bpd, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 937,000 bpd, up 6.5 percent. Qatar ranked fourth with 178,000 bpd and Oman fifth with 53,000 bpd.
Japan is the world's-third biggest oil consumer after China and the US.

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