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Japan to halt oil imports from Iran in light of U.S. sanctions

Staff Writer |
Japanese traders decided to stop buying oil from Iran after the government failed to win an exemption from planned economic sanctions against the Middle East country imposed by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

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The companies said they had to make a decision this month considering the time required to complete deals with their Iranian trade partners.

The U.S. sanctions are expected to resume in early November.

And the companies determined that orders to Iran made in October would be too late to avoid the sanctions, given the time needed to determine quantities and qualities of oil, arrange shipping, select ports and clear payments.

Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal and demanded all countries stop buying Iranian oil as part of the U.S. sanctions.

Iranian oil accounts for 5 percent of all oil imported by Japanese businesses.

Japan’s largest oil importer, JXTG Holdings Inc., and other oil distributors said they are exploring imports from Saudi Arabia and other countries, and that the sanctions against Iran would not affect the amount of oil they can supply to the Japanese market.

However, if the change in trading partners incurs extra costs, the price of gasoline in Japan could increase.

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