TOKYO, Aug 19 (KUNA) -- Kuwait's trade surplus with Japan fell 9.0 percent from a year earlier to JPY 45.7 billion (USD 429 million) in July, down for the two month in a row on sluggish exports, government data showed Monday.
However, Kuwait stayed in black ink with Japan for 11 years and six months, as exports still outpaced its imports by a big margin, according to a preliminary report by the Finance Ministry.
Kuwaiti overall exports to Japan declined 6.9 percent year-on-year to JPY 62.4 billion (USD 586 million) for the second straight month of fall. Imports from Japan edged down 0.4 percent to JPY 16.7 billion (USD 157 million), down for the fifth consecutive month.
Middle East's trade surplus with Japan plunged 18.8 percent to JPY 571.6 billion (USD 5.4 billion) last month, with Japan-bound exports from the region shrinking 11.7 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, slid 12.0 percent.
The region's overall imports from Japan jumped 17.6 percent, buoyed by strong demand for automobiles, steel and electric equipment.
Japan's global trade balance returned to deficit in July due to sluggish exports to China amid US-China trade tensions. The world's third-biggest economy posted the first trade red ink in two months at JPY 249.6 billion (USD 2.3 billion).
Exports fell 1.6 percent from the year before on weak shipments of auto parts and semiconductor manufacturing equipment. Imports shrank 1.2 percent, with value of crude oil falling 10.0 percent and petroleum products 27.1 percent, respectively. 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)