Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan down for first time in three months
TOKYO: Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan shrank 6.6 percent from a year earlier to JPY 27.7 billion ($236 million) in November, down for the first time in three months due to weak exports, the Japanese Finance Ministry said yesterday. But Kuwait maintained monthly black ink with Japan for eight years and 10 months, the ministry said in a preliminary report. Kuwaiti overall exports to Japan declined 17.5 percent yearon-year to JPY 43.5 billion ($370 million) for the first drop in three months, while imports from Japan fell 31.5 percent to JPY 15.8 billion ($134 million), down for the third month.
Middle East’s trade surplus with Japan expanded by 2.7 percent to JPY 374.5 billion ($3.2 billion) last month, although Japan-bound exports slid 11.0 percent from a year earlier. Crude oil, refined products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other natural resources, which accounted for 95.7 percent of the region’s total exports to Japan, declined 10.0 percent.
The region’s overall imports from Japan tumbled 27.7 percent, chiefly due to weak shipments of automobile, steel and electric equipment. The world’s third-biggest economy posted a global trade surplus of JPY 152. 5 billion ($1.3 billion) in November, marking a third straight month of black, reflecting lower energy prices and the yen’s appreciation, though both exports and imports declined.
Exports edged down 0.4 percent from the year before due to sluggish shipment of such products as vehicles to Saudi Arabia and steel to Italy. Imports fell 8.8 percent, with value of crude oil falling 14.4 percent. Deficit with China, Japan’s biggest trade partner, shrank 35.3 percent to JPY 384.2 billion ($3.3billion).
Japan’s currency strengthened against the US dollar by 13.5 percent from a year earlier to an average JPY 104.94, according to the ministry. The yen’s appreciation pushes down import prices, but it also harms exports by making Japanese products more expensive overseas and cuts the value of repatriated overseas earning. The trade data are measured on a customs-cleared basis before adjustment for seasonal factors. — KUNA