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Japan's Eneos Globe raises U.S. propane buy to 3 mln T

TOKYO, May 16 (Reuters) - Japan's Eneos Globe Corp said on Friday it raised its propane purchase from U.S. pipeline operator Enterprise Product Partners by 800,000 tonnes to a total of 3 million tonnes as part of its goals to diversify supplies and reduce reliance on the Middle East.

Japanese firms have been increasing purchases of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from the United States, with an aim to procure stable supplies more cost effectively. U.S. LPG has been generally cheaper than Middle Eastern rivals, which are linked to Saudi Aramco's contract prices.

Eneos said it plans to buy 200,000 tonnes of propane this year and more than 300,000 tonnes for unspecified number of years from 2015, boosting reliance on North American LPG to roughly 20 percent of its annual purchase of propane and butane of around 3 million tonnes.

The prices are linked to spot propane prices at the key Gulf Coast hub at Mont Belvieu in Texas, a company official said.

Japan's Astomos Energy last month announced it raised its LPG purchase from Enterprise Product Partners by 2 million tonnes to a total of 5 million tonnes from 2014 to 2021.

(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)