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Press Dossier    By Date   25/03/2024 Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan rises 53.4% in February

Arab News, Mon, Mar 25, 2024 | Ramadan 15, 1445

​​Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan rises 53.4% in February

Kuwait: Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan surged 53.4 percent year-on-year in February to $652 million, driven by energy products, as exports outpaced imports significantly.  

According to the Kuwait News Agency, overall exports to Japan soared by 34.2 percent in February 2024 to $673 million compared to the same month in the previous year, marking the first increase in two months. 

On the other hand, imports from Japan to Kuwait totaled $121 million in February, reflecting a decrease of 14.4 percent compared to the same period in 2023. 

The state news agency reported that the Middle East’s trade surplus with Japan also experienced a 0.4 percent year-on-year increase to $5.3 billion in February. 

Crude oil, refined products, liquefied natural gas, and other natural resources constituted 96.3 percent of the region’s total exports to Japan, marking a 1.5 percent increase in February. 

Similarly, the Middle East region’s total imports from Japan increased by 4 percent year-on-year in February, attributed to the demand for machinery, manufactured goods, and electrical machinery. 

The report also highlighted that Japan recorded a global trade deficit of $2.5 billion for the second consecutive month in February, marking a 59.2 percent decrease compared to the previous year. 

China retained its position as Japan’s largest trading partner in February, followed by the US. 

Earlier this month, credit rating agency Fitch reaffirmed Kuwait’s foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings at “AA-” with a stable outlook. 

According to a press statement, Kuwait’s stable outlook rating stemmed from its robust fiscal and external balance sheets. 

An “AA-” rating from Fitch suggests very low default risk and a strong capacity for fulfilling financial commitments. 

The rating firm noted that Kuwait maintains among the strongest fiscal and external balance sheets among Fitch-rated sovereigns. 

However, the report noted that the rating is somewhat constrained by Kuwait’s heavy reliance on oil. 

“The rating is constrained by Kuwait’s heavy dependence on oil, its generous welfare system and large public sector that could be challenging to sustain in the long term, and a political context that hampers efforts to tackle consistent fiscal and economic rigidities and approve legislation to allow debt issuance and clarify government financing sources,” said Fitch.

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