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Japan June crude imports fall to 26-year low; oil sales up 1%

[TOKYO] Japanese crude imports fell to a 26-year low for the month of June, while total oil product sales rose about 1 per cent helped by firm naphtha demand reflecting robust ethylene production, trade ministry data showed on Friday.

Crude imports by the world's fourth-biggest importer totalled 2.94 million barrels per day last month, the lowest for the month since 1989, an official with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.

Total oil product sales in June rose 0.8 per cent to 2.8 million bpd from a year earlier, the ministry's monthly oil data showed. Naphtha sales rose for a fifth straight month on a year-on-year basis, the ministry official said.

Every week, nearly 20 gas stations close on average in Japan after demand fell by about 22 per cent over the last decade and consumption is set to fall further, according an industry ministry forecast in April.