Kuwait's trade surplus with Japan widened 25.4 percent in September to JPY 96.1 billion (USD 1.2 billion) from a year earlier, remaining in the black for the 56th month in a row, the Finance Ministry said Monday.
Kuwaiti overall exports to Japan jumped 25.3 percent to JPY 109.7 billion (USD 1.4 billion) for the second straight month of gain, and imports from Japan rose 24.4 percent year-on-year to JPY 13.6 billion (USD 171 million), up for the first time in two months, the ministry said in a preliminary report.
The Middle East's trade surplus with Japan also widened 25.4 percent to JPY 1.062 trillion (USD 13.4 billion) last month, with Japan-bound exports from the region surging 20.8 percent from a year earlier. Crude oil, refined products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other natural resources, which accounted for 98.2 percent of the region's total exports to Japan, grew 20.9 percent on the year, with crude oil alone rising 25.8 percent. The region's imports from Japan edged down 0.3 percent, as shipments of machinery, steel, electronic components declined.
The world's third-biggest economy registered a global deficit of JPY 558.6 billion (USD 7.0 billion) in September for the third straight month of red ink due to plunge in exports to China amid tensions over a territorial dispute. over disputed islands in the East China Sea. It was the biggest trade deficit for the month of September since comparable data became available in 1979.
Exports totaled JPY 5.360 trillion (USD 67.5 billion), down 10.3 percent. Exports to China, Japan's biggest trading partner, fell 14.1 percent on the year led by slumps in automobiles following anti-Japan riots and boycotting of Japanese products in China over disputed islands in the East China Sea. In addition, the Chinese economy has been also slowing on the impact of the European debt crisis.
Imports rose 4.1 percent to JPY 5.918 trillion (USD 74.6 billion) on mainly higher costs for crude oil and LNG. Japanese utilities have boosted imports of LNG for thermal power generation, as only two of the nation's 50 workable nuclear reactors are currently online in the wake of the radiation accident in March 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which was triggered by the massive earthquake and tsunami. The trade data are measured on a customs-cleared basis before adjustment for seasonal factors.