The UAE ranked top among Gulf countries for aluminium supply to Japan in 2014 and also got the second position after Saudi Arabia for total trade with the Asian country.
Japan's import of aluminium from GCC countries surged by 44.77 per cent to $1.1 billion in 2014 compared to $756.88 million in the previous year.
Most of the additional supply came from the UAE, from where imports grew by 41.37 per cent in 2014. The UAE was the fourth-largest supplier in the world with a share of 8.28 per cent of Japan's total aluminium imports.
The value of Japan's bilateral trade with GCC countries contracted 3.82 per cent in 2014 to $164.76 billion, compared to $171.31 billion in 2013.
The decline was mainly attributed to an estimated 4.28 per cent average fall in the price of crude oils that Japan imported from GCC countries in 2014. In addition to that depreciation in the value of Japanese yen again the US dollar, which was over eight per cent in average, has also reflected in the reduced value of bilateral trade.
Japan's exports to the GCC countries showed a strong recovery in 2014 supported by increased demand for machinery and equipment, and iron and steel products.
Motor vehicle exports, covering almost 60 per cent of Japan's total exports to the GCC, increased by 8.77 per cent to $14.79 billion, of which, passenger motor cars above 3000cc engine capacity rose the most, by 10.7 per cent, to $7.6 billion. GCC countries remained to be one of the top export markets for motor vehicles from Japan.
The export value of general machinery surged 24 per cent to $3.45 billion and that of electrical machinery 23.7 per cent to $1.2 billion in 2014. There had been notable increases in the export of foodstuff from Japan to the GCC in 2014, especially to the UAE.
Though the value was small compared to major other commodities, foodstuff export to the GCC rose by nearly 17 per cent to $83.04 million in 2014, compared to $71.08 million in 2013. The increase in foodstuff exports to the UAE was registered at 38.5 per cent to $50.33 million in 2014 from $36.33 million in the previous year.
Mineral fuels, including crude oils and gaseous hydrocarbons, remained the dominant commodities of Japan's import from the GCC countries in 2014. Nearly 98.5 per cent of Japan's total imports from the GCC fall under this category.
Aluminium, organic chemicals, copper articles, plastics, inorganic chemicals, fertilisers, precious stones, fish and seafood constitute the remaining small portion.
The import value of crude oils, the major item of Japan's imports from the GCC, which covered 72.61 per cent of the total imports from the block, fell by 8.96 per cent to $101.53 billion in 2014, from $111.52 billion in the previous year.
In terms of volume, Japan's crude oil import declined by 4.89 per cent to 969.21 million barrels in 2014, against 1,019.04 million barrels in 2013. Japan's total crude oil import in 2014, from the world over, was estimated at 1,253.9 million barrels, which was 5.62 per cent lower, compared to the volume in 2013. GCC countries together met 77.30 per cent of Japan's crude oil requirement in 2014, 0.78 per cent higher compared to the supply in 2013.
Saudi Arabia topped the list of crude oil suppliers to Japan in the world, supplying 33.26 per cent of Japan's crude oil requirements in 2014, followed by the UAE with a supply share of 24.36 per cent.