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Kuwait’s Feb. trade surplus with Japan shrinks to 12.9 pct

TOKYO Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan shrank 12.9 percent from a year earlier to JPY 39.5 billion (USD 369 million) in February, down for the first time in three months due to weak exports, government data showed Wednesday.

But Kuwait stayed in black ink with Japan for 12 years and one month, as exports still outpaced its imports by a big margin, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report.

Kuwaiti overall exports to Japan slipped 11.7 percent year-on-year to JPY 55.4 billion (USD 518 million) for the first drop in three months. Imports from Japan also declined 8.7 percent to JPY 15.9 billion (USD 149 million), down for the first time in four months.

Middle East’s trade surplus with Japan fell 5.6 percent to JPY 485.3 billion (USD 4.5 billion) last month, with Japan-bound exports from the region sliding 2.8 percent from a year earlier.

Crude oil, refined products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other natural resources, which accounted for 95.8 percent of the region’s total exports to Japan, went down 2.8 percent.

The region’s overall imports from Japan grew 4.9 percent, thanks to strong demand for automobiles, steel, machinery and electric equipment.

Japan’s global trade balance returned to surplus in February, as imports from China, the country’s biggest trade partner, almost halved due to the new coronavirus outbreak originated in China. The world’s third-biggest economy posted the first trade black ink in four months at JPY 1.11 trillion (USD 10.4 billion).

Exports decreased 1.0 percent from the year before, while imports dipped 14.0 percent. Imports from China tumbled 47.1 percent for the steepest fall since 1986. The trade data are measured on a customs-cleared basis before adjustment for seasonal factors.

Source: Kuwait News Agency