Japan Feb crude oil import volume up 5.6 pct

TOKYO, March 24 Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:57pm GMT

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TOKYO, March 24 (Reuters) - - The volume of Japan's customs-cleared crude oil imports rose 5.6 percent in February from the same month a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday.

Japan, the world's third-biggest oil consumer, imported 18.872 million kilolitres (4.24 million barrels per day) of crude oil last month, the preliminary data showed.

In January, Japan's crude oil imports were 19.244 million kl, up 3.6 percent from a year ago.

Japan's imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) totalled 6.261 million tonnes last month, up 3.8 percent from a year earlier. Imports of thermal coal for power generation rose 8.4 percent in February to 8.638 million tonnes, the data showed. (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Edmund Klamann)