Japan began to sell the oil in its strategic reserves to counter rising oil prices with moderate sales. The country joined the unprecedented, coordinated release of crude oil in the strategic reserves led by the United States.
The Ministry of Trade stated that the government tendered Oman crude oil from the Shibushi Strategic Reserve for delivery from March to June. The move is part of Japan’s plan to coordinate the sale of oil with other consumer countries. They believe more sales may follow.
According to the second statement, the supply is 100,000 kiloliters. This is equivalent to approximately 630,000 barrels. According to BP Plc data, Japan had consumed about 3.27 million barrels of oil per day in 2020.
The Biden administration began using the first 50 million barrels of reserves it promised shortly after the coordinated release was announced at the end of November.
South Korea said last week that it would begin releasing crude oil and petroleum products from its strategic reserves next month. However, other countries included in the plan, including China and India, have yet to take action.
Because of the rapid spread of the omicron variant, oil demand in Asia is showing signs of weakening. The global benchmark Brent crude oil traded at less than US$76 per barrel on Monday, a decline of about 7% since the announcement of the US-led plan.
In November, Trade Minister Koichi Hagi said that Japan would release the oil when it replaced its stocks. He added that although it does this regularly, it has advanced the timetable to support similar operations elsewhere.