Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan down 64 pct in Dec.

Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan plummeted 64.0 percent from a year earlier to JPY 17.5 billion (USD 170 million) in December, down for the ninth month in a row due to weak exports, government data showed Thursday.

But Kuwait stayed in black ink with Japan for 12 years and 11 months, as exports still offset imports in value, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report.

Kuwaiti overall exports to Japan tumbled 51.3 percent year-on-year to JPY 34.3 billion (USD 332 million) for the ninth straight month of decline.

Imports from Japan also declined 22.9 percent to JPY 16.8 billion (USD 162 million), down for the eighth month. For the whole of 2020, Kuwait posted a trade surplus of JPY 336.7 billion (USD 3.3 billion), down 40.3 percent from the previous year.

Middle East’s trade surplus with Japan fell 47.0 percent to JPY 312.8 billion (USD 3.0 billion) last month, with Japan-bound exports from the region sliding 39.1 percent from a year earlier.

Crude oil, refined products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other natural resources, which accounted for 93.9 percent of the region’s total exports to Japan, dived 40.7 percent.

The region’s overall imports from Japan went down 18.6 percent on sluggish demand for automobiles, machinery and steel.

The world’s third-biggest economy posted a global surplus of JPY 751.0 billion (USD 7.3 billion) in December, marking the sixth consecutive month of black ink. Exports grew 2.0 percent from the year before, buoyed by robust shipments to China, such as plastic materials and nonferrous metals.

Imports fell 11.6 percent on falling energy prices, mainly crude oil and coal. 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