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Gulf’s bilateral trade with Japan falls by 8%

Published: Updated:

The Gulf’s exports to Japan dropped by around eight percent in the first half of 2013 after they soared to their highest level in 2012, according to Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro) data.

Oil prices dropped to an average $105 in the first half of 2013 from over $110 in the first half of 2012.

Imports from Japan by the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries also reversed a steady increase over the past few years and declined in the first half of 2013, the data also revealed.

From around $81.64 billion in the first half of 2012, the GCC’s combined exports to Japan slumped to nearly $74.83 billion in the first half of this year.

The decline was in exports by five GCC members, as there was an increase in exports by Qatar, mainly due to higher LNG sales.

Exports by the UAE to Japan fell to around $20.96 billion from $22.63 billion, while those by Saudi Arabia dropped to $24.42 billion from $28.83 billion. There was also a fall in the exports of the other member states except Qatar, which boosted exports of LNG, crude oil and other products to Japan to $119.4 billion from $18.47 billion.

Moreover, Japan’s exports to the Gulf States also shrank to around d $11 billion in the first half of 2013 from $12.74 billion in the first half of 2012. The decline was mainly in exports to the UAE and Saudi Arabia as they receded to nearly $$4.08 billion and $3.5 billion from $4.63 billion and $4.13 billion respectively.

The large fall in the GCC’s exports to Japan cut the group’s trade surplus with that country to $63.87 billion in the first half of 2013 from $68.9 billion in the first half of 2012. The GCC countries are the largest crude suppliers to Japan and the surge in prices to their highest average in 2012 boosted their exports to Japan to an all-time high.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on August 15, 2013