JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., Japan’s oil lifter, has renewed its annual term oil purchase volumes from Tehran for 2016, with the volumes remaining unchanged under the new contract as of January, reported Reuters. Sources revealed that the original quantity in 2015 was set at 53,000b/d.

Iran has asked Japanese buyers to increase term crude volumes to pre-sanction levels, however, buyers seem reluctant considering to buy spot Iranian barrels instead. In reference to the Iranian request, JX Holdings Chairman, Yasushi Kimura, said he could not confirm that JX would automatically increase its Iranian volumes, as it would depend on the economics. He added that it might be difficult to increase purchases from one producer alone amid a background of declining domestic demand in Japan, according to Trade Arabia.

JX Nippon Oil is a core unit of JX Holdings and one of Japan’s biggest lifters of Iranian crude.