Kuwait’s trade sur­plus with Ja­pan down for first time in three months

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

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

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