TOKYO, Oct 18 (KUNA) -- Kuwait's trade surplus with Japan shrank 6.9 percent from a year earlier to JPY 46.5 billion (USD414 million) in September, down for the first time in four months, the Japanese Finance Ministry said Thursday.
But Kuwait stayed in black ink with Japan for 10 years and eight months, the ministry said in a preliminary report. Overall Kuwait's exports to Japan grew 4.2 percent year-on-year to JPY 64.3 billion (USD 571 million) for the fourth consecutive month of expansion.
Imports from Japan soared 51.6 percent to JPY 17.8 billion (USD 158 million), also rising for the fourth month.
Middle East's trade surplus with Japan surged 58.7 percent to JPY 595.8 billion (USD 5.3 billion) last month, with Japan-bound exports from the region jumping 35.4 percent from a year earlier.
Crude oil, refined products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other natural resources, which accounted for 95.5 percent of the region's total exports to Japan, inflated 36.3 percent.
The region's overall imports from Japan declined 5.3 percent, as shipments of cars, machinery and electrical machinery were sluggish.
In September, Japan's global trade balance bounced back to surplus for the first time in three months at JPY 139.6 billion (USD 1.2 billion).
Exports of the world's third-biggest economy went down 1.2 percent, the first drop in 22 months.
The decline was due to the impact of Typhoon Jebi that disrupted distribution and production activities in western Japan as well as weak demand for telecommunications equipment. Imports gained seven percent, as value of crude oil and LNG to Japan surged amid rising global market prices.
China remained Japan's biggest trade partner, followed by the US. The trade data are measured on a customs-cleared basis before adjustment for seasonal factors. (end)