(Bloomberg) -- Japan is offering oil from its national reserves as other nations kick off a coordinated release from strategic stockpiles to rein in prices.
A government tender offered Oman crude from the strategic reserves in Shibushi for delivery between March and June, the trade ministry said in a statement dated Dec. 27. The tender didn’t specify a volume, give a reason for the sale, or confirm it was part of a U.S.-led initiative.
The Biden administration started tapping the first of its pledged 50 million barrels of reserves not long after announcing the coordinated release in late November. South Korea said last week that it will start releasing crude and oil products from its strategic reserves next month, although other countries named as part of the plan -- including China and India -- have yet to act.
Trade Minister Koichi Hagiuda said in November that Japan would conduct the release as it replaces oil in its stockpiles. While it does that regularly, the schedule has been moved up to support similar actions elsewhere, he added.
At present, there are signs of weakening oil demand in Asia given the rapid spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. Brent crude, the global benchmark, traded slightly higher above $76 a barrel on Monday, although it’s down by about 7% since the U.S.-led plan was announced.
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