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Kuwait's May trade surplus with Japan up 2.3 pct.

TOKYO, June 20 (KUNA) -- Kuwait's trade surplus with Japan widened 2.3 percent from a year earlier to JPY 82.7 billion (USD 522 million) in May, up for the first time in three months, the latest government data showed.
Kuwait stayed in black ink with Japan for 16 years and four months, as exports outpaced its imports by a big margin, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report. Overall exports from Kuwait to Japan grew 3.9 percent year-on-year to JPY 102.8 billion (USD 648 million) for the first expansion in three months. Imports from Japan also increased 11.5 percent to JPY 20.1 billion (USD 126 million), up for the first time in six months.
Middle East's trade surplus with Japan widened 13.1 percent to JPY 831.6 billion (USD 5.3 billion) last month, with Japan-bound exports from the region rising 12 percent from a year earlier. Crude oil, refined products, liquefied natural gas and other natural resources, which accounted for 94.2 percent of the region's total exports to Japan, jumped 10.3 percent. The region's overall imports from Japan rose 8.5 percent on strong demand for automobiles, machinery and steel.
The world's third-biggest economy logged a global trade deficit of JPY 1.2 trillion (USD 7.7 billion) in May for the second consecutive month of red ink, as the weaker yen inflated import bills. Exports surged 13.5 percent from the year before, lifted by automobiles, semiconductor-making equipment and chips. Imports expanded 9.5 percent on energy prices, especially petroleum products and crude oil amid the yen's depreciation against the dollar. 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) mk.hb