Kuwait’s Dec. trade surplus with Japan up 27.7 pct

Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan jumped 27.7 percent from a year earlier to JPY 84.8 billion (USD 663 million) in December, up for the 21st consecutive month, as exports continued to outpace imports, government data showed Thursday.

Kuwait stayed in black ink with Japan for 14 years and 11 months, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report. Overall exports from Kuwait to Japan soared 40.4 percent year-on-year to JPY 110.5 billion (USD 865 million) for the 21st straight month of expansion.

Imports from Japan also ballooned 109.4 percent to JPY 25.8 billion (USD 202 million), up for the eighth month in a row.

For the whole of 2022, Kuwait logged a trade surplus of JPY 1.1 trillion (USD 8.6 billion), up 95.1 percent from the previous year. Kuwait’s exports to Japan surged 80.3 percent to JPY 1.3 trillion (USD 10.3 billion), while imports grew 28.6 percent to JPY 208.2 billion (USD 1.6 billion) last year.

Middle East’s trade surplus with Japan widened 21.7 percent to JPY 1.0 trillion (USD 8.0 billion) in December, with Japan-bound exports from the region inflating 60.6 percent from a year earlier.

Crude oil, refined products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other natural resources, which accounted for 96.2 percent of the region’s total exports to Japan, swelled 30.5 percent. The region’s overall imports from Japan also rose 29.1 percent on robust demand for automobiles, machinery and steel.

The world’s third-biggest economy posted a global trade deficit in December for the 17th straight month at JPY 1.4 trillion (USD 11.3 billion), as higher energy bills and the yen’s depreciation contributed to increase the value of its imports. The figure was the biggest for the month of December since comparable data became available in 1979. Exports went up 11.5 percent from the year before, thanks to sales of cars, machinery and mineral fuels. But imports increased 20.6 percent on rising energy prices, especially coal, crude oil and LNG. China remained Japan’s biggest trade partner, followed by the US.

For the full year 2022, Japan posted a 20.0 trillion (USD 156.2 billion) red ink due to higher energy and raw material, hitting the record high amount. Exports grew 18.2 percent, while imports jumped 39.2 percent last year. The trade data are measured on a customs-cleared basis before adjustment for seasonal factors.

Source: Kuwait News Agency