Gulf hydrocarbon producers boosted their exports to Japan by nearly 11 per cent to a record high in 2012 as crude prices soared to their highest average and the southeast Asian giant remained heavily reliant on crude from the region.
The six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, sitting atop 40 per cent of the world’s recoverable crude wealth, also increased their imports from Japan by a whopping 48 per cent, according to official data.
From nearly $141.8 billion in 2011, the GCC’s exports, mostly crude oil and gas, swelled to a record $157.4 billion in 2012, showed the figures by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).
The group’s imports from the Asian nation shot to nearly $29.02 billion from around $19.5 billion in the same period, the report showed.
The surge in the exports widened the GCC’s trade surplus with their main economic and commercial partner from around $122.1 billion in 2011 to nearly $132.4 billion in 2012.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil supplier, emerged as the largest Gulf exporter to Japan with a value of around $54.9 billion in 2012 compared with $50.3 billion in 2011. It was also the second largest importer from Japan, with $8.25 compared to $6.48 billion.
The UAE’s exports to Japan increased from around $42.7 billion to $44.1 billion 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 $7.44 billion in 2011 to $8.99 billion in 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 $35.9 billion in 2012 from $30 billion in 2011. Kuwait’s exports to Japan, mostly crude oil, grew to around $15.2 billion from $13 billion while those of Oman rose to about $6.88 billion from $5.13 billion.
Exports by Bahrain, a small trade partner of Japan with limited hydrocarbon resources, declined to $470 million from $720million. But its imports from Japan swelled to $810 million from around $460 million, according to JETRO.
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