Kuwait's trade surplus with Japan shrinks for 9th month

TOKYO, March 17 (KUNA) — Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan narrowed 46.1 percent from a year earlier to JPY 20.8 billion (USD 186 million) in February, shrinking for the ninth month, as exports declined more than a third, the Finance Ministry said Thursday. But Kuwait maintained monthly black ink with Japan for an unbroken eight years and one month, the ministry said in a preliminary report.
Kuwaiti overall exports to Japan plunged 35.7 percent year-on-year to JPY 36.1 billion (USD 323 million) for the ninth straight monthly fall, and imports from Japan also decreased 12.5 percent to JPY 15.3 billion (USD 137 million), down for the second month in a row.
Middle East’s trade surplus with Japan also narrowed 48.5 percent to JPY 261.0 billion (USD 2.3 billion) last month, with Japan-bound exports from the region tumbling 35.1 percent from a year earlier.
Crude oil, refined products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other natural resources, which accounted for 93.2 percent of the region’s total exports to Japan, shrank 36.8 percent. The region’s overall imports from Japan went down 8.7 percent, chiefly due to weak shipments of vehicle and machinery.
Japan’s global trade balance returned to surplus in February, reflecting a continued decline in crude oil prices, though both exports and imports declined. The world’s third-biggest economy posted the first trade black ink in two months at JPY 242.8 billion (USD 2.2 billion) last month. Overall exports fell 4.0 percent from the year before. Imports slid 14.2 percent, with shipments of crude oil plunging 33.3 percent due to low prices. Deficit with China, Japan’s biggest trade partner, slid 50.5 percent to 382.4 billion yen (USD 3.4 billion).
The trade data are measured on a customs-cleared basis before adjustment for seasonal factors. (end) mk.hb