Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan down 13.5 pct

TOKYO, Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan shrank 13.5 percent from a year earlier to JPY 41.4 billion (USD 382 million) in October, down for the first time in two months due to sluggish exports, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday.

But Kuwait stayed in black ink with Japan for 11 years and nine months, as exports still offset imports in value, the ministry said in a preliminary report.

Kuwaiti overall exports to Japan slid 5.1 percent year-on-year to JPY 62.4 billion (USD 576 million) for the first drop in two months. Imports from Japan jumped 17.4 percent to JPY 21.0 billion (USD 194 million), up for the first time in eight months.

Middle East’s trade surplus with Japan plunged 37.8 percent to JPY 434.2 billion (USD 4.0 billion) last month, with Japan-bound exports from the region dropping 27.9 percent from a year earlier.

Crude oil, refined products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other natural resources, which accounted for 95.6 percent of the region’s total exports to Japan, fell 27.6 percent.

The region’s overall imports from Japan increased 3.6 percent, buoyed by strong demand for automobiles and steel.

The world’s third-biggest economy logged a global trade surplus of JPY 17.3 billion (USD 159 million) in October for the first time in four months, thanks to lower energy bills.

Exports declined 9.2 percent from the year before chiefly due to weak shipments of vehicles, power generating machines and steel.

Imports plunged 14.8 percent on lower prices of crude oil, liquefied natural gas and other energy commodities.

China remained Japan’s biggest trade partner, followed by the US.

The trade data are measured on a customs-cleared basis before adjustment for seasonal factors.

Source: Kuwait News Agency