World Economy

Kuwait Trade Surplus With Japan Narrows

Kuwait Trade Surplus With Japan Narrows
Kuwait Trade Surplus With Japan Narrows

Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan narrowed 47.1 percent in February to Japanese yen 38.7 billion ($319 million) from a year earlier, shrinking for the fourth month as exports declined by nearly 40 percent, the finance ministry said Wednesday.

However, Kuwait maintained black ink with Japan for the 85th consecutive month, the ministry said in a preliminary report, KUNA reported.

Kuwaiti overall exports to Japan plunged 38.5 percent year-on-year to JPY 56.1 billion ($462 million) for the fourth straight monthly fall, while imports from Japan decreased 4.0 percent to JPY 17.4 billion ($144 million), down for the first time since May.

Middle East’s trade surplus with Japan fell 53.8 percent to JPY 506.8 billion ($4.2 billion) last month, with Japan-bound exports from the region tumbling 42.6 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 last month, dropped 43.6 percent. The region’s overall imports from Japan went up 11.0 percent, thanks to robust shipments of automobile, machinery, and electric equipment.


The world’s third-biggest economy logged a global deficit of JPY 424.6 billion ($3.5 billion) in February, down 47.3 percent on the year. The trade deficit shrank for the fifth month in a row, but it still posted the 32nd straight month of shortfall, the longest losing streak since comparable data became available in January 1979.

Overall exports increased 2.4 percent to JPY 5.941 trillion ($49.0 billion), up for the sixth month, buoyed by strong shipments of vehicles and semiconductor and the effect of a weaker yen. Imports slid 3.6 percent to JPY 6.366 trillion (USD 52.4 billion), down for the second straight month, chiefly due to a continued decline in crude oil prices.

Exports to China, Japan’s biggest trading partner, fell 17.3 percent, and imports from the country expanded 39.4 percent, posting the biggest-ever deficit with China for the month of February.

Japan’s currency weakened against the US dollar by 14.9 percent from the year before to an average of JPY 118.12 in February, according to the ministry. The yen’s depreciation supports exports by making Japanese products more competitive overseas and increase the value of repatriated overseas earning, but it also inflates import prices.

The trade data are measured on a customs-cleared basis before adjustment for seasonal factors.