Exports by Gulf hydrocarbon producers to Japan swelled by nearly 13.7 per cent in the first 10 months of 2012 as crude prices remained at historically high levels and Japan kept its heavy reliance on crude from the region.
Official data showed the exports by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC) to the Southeast Asian giant grew to nearly $131.3 billion in the first 10 months of 2012 from around $115.8 billion in the first 10 > months of 2011.
The GCC’s imports from the Asian nation shot up by around 31 per cent to nearly $20.7 billion from around $15.8 billion, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) said in its latest monthly report on Japan’s trade and investment worldwide.
The surge in the exports widened the GCC’s trade surplus with their main economic and commercial partner from around $100 billion in the first 10 months of 2011 to nearly $110.7 billion in the first 10 months of 2012. Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil supplier, emerged as the largest Gulf exporter to Japan with a value of around $45.5 billion in the first 10 months of 2012 compared with nearly $41.2 billion in the same period of 2011.
It was also the second largest importer from Japan, with about $5.8 billion in the 10 months of 2012 compared to $5.3 billion in the same period of 2011.
The UAE’s exports to Japan, mostly crude oil, gas and aluminum, also increased from around $35.1 billion to $36.7 billion in the same period to maintain its position as the Middle East’s second largest exporter to Japan.
The UAE also emerged as the top Middle East market for Japanese products, with its imports from that country rising from around $six billion in the first 10 months of 2011, to $7.5 billion in the first 11 months of 2012.
The report showed Qatar, the world’s third largest gas power, emerged as the third exporter to Japan in the Middle East because of a sharp rise in its LNG sales to that market over the past few years. Its exports soared to nearly $30.2 billion in the first 10 months from $23.7 billion in the same period of 2011.
Kuwait’s exports to Japan, mostly crude oil, grew to around $12.5 billion from $10.4 billion while those of Oman rose to about $six billion from $4.1 billion.
Exports by Bahrain, a small trade partner of Japan with limited
hydrocarbon resources, declined to $411 million from $488 million. But its imports from Japan swelled to $661 million from around $364 million, according to Jetro.