Value of two-way trade rose by 37.58% to $50.38bn, compared to $36.62bn in 2010. Exports to the UAE grew by 1.82% to $7,466.13m, while imports grew by 46.53% to $42,912.73m in 2011. The sizable increase in the value of imports was mainly attributed to the surge in the price of crude oils that make the most of Japan’s imports from the UAE.
UAE’s position among the top trading partners of Japan in the world improved to the 9th position in 2011 from the 11th position in 2010, with a share in exports of 0.91% and a share of 5.02% in imports.
The value of Japan’s world trade in 2011 stood at $1,678.97bn, compared to $1,464.34bn in 2010, an increase of 14.66%. Japan’s total exports rose 6.96% to $823.65bn, while imports rose 23.19% to $855.31bn. A major feature of Japan’s world trade in 2011 was that its traditional trade surplus turned into a sizable deficit. Instead of a trade surplus of $75.75bn in 2010, Japan had a trade deficit of $31.66bn in 2011. China retained its position as Japan’s top trading partner with a share of 19.44% in Japan’s total exports and 21.52% in total imports. USA kept the 2nd position with a share of 15.41% in exports and 8.70% in imports. Following is a list of Japan’s top ten trading partners showing bilateral trade value in the past three years.
Japan’s major exports to the UAE:
Japan’s automobile exports to the UAE made a fast recovery through the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2011 to exceed the levels of pre-tsunami period. However, though motor vehicles remained to be the largest single commodity of exports to the UAE, on a year-on-year basis, the export value declined by just over 9% to $3,174.98m in 2011 against $3,489.69m in 2010. Factors such as logistical problems caused by the East Japan Earthquake and the tsunami, and to a certain extent, the unprecedented floods in Thailand causing disruption in automobile parts supply to manufacturers, and finally, the consistent rise in the value of Japanese Yen were attributed to this slide in vehicle exports.
While export of higher and medium capacity gasoline-engined passenger cars declined by 17.48% and 28.91% respectively, export of lower capacity cars of gasoline engines (1000 to 1500 cc) increased by 18.80%. However, in the case of diesel engined cars, exports increased by 32.14% for cars above 2500 cc and by 75.22% for cars with capacity between 1500 cc and 2500 cc. In the case of motor trucks, the overall exports increased by 2.78%, with small trucks (less than 5 tons) showing an increase in exports of 25.95%, and trucks between 5 and 20 tons, showing a decrease in exports by 19.14%.
UAE was the 10th largest vehicles export market for Japan in 2011 covering 2.14% of the total market coverage. USA remained to be the top market of Japanese vehicles, valuing at $41.42bn in 2011. China remained at the distant 2nd position in 2011 with a value of $15.50bn worth of vehicle exports. Australia, Russia and Canada occupied the 3rd, 4th and 5th positions.
Export to the UAE of general machinery surged by 37.12% to $1,647.49m in 2011 from $1,201.50m in 2010. This surge was attributed to the increase in demand for air pumps, derricks, ship cranes, turbines, other lifting equipments, work trucks etc. Export of air pumps increased by 227.41% to $227.48m from just $83.22m. Export of ships derrick cranes jumped by 105.90% to $134.89m from $65.51m. While heat exchange units showed an increase in export by 92.41% to $45.69m, export of steam turbines showed an increase of 194.06% to $23.89m. Machineries that showed minor decreases in exports were air conditioning equipments, gas turbines and some kinds of compressors.
Export of electrical machinery declined by 10.08% to $620.03m amidst a mixed result of increases and decreases in exports of different electrical equipments. Major increases were recorded in the exports of insulated wires and cables (66.04%), electrical appliances for line telephones (44.13%), electric motors and generators (226.85%), vacuum cleaners (14.64%) etc. Decline in exports were mainly recorded for electrical transformers (-50.09%), electrical apparatus for switches (-51.23%) and electrical boards or panels (-57.65%).
Export of rubber products, comprised mainly of new tires, declined 7.80% to $513.30m in 2011, compared to $556.76m in 2010. Export of iron or steel products comprising mainly tubes, pipes, pipe fittings, bars, plates and sections, showed an increase of 11.01% to $632.03m against the previous year’s value of $569.33m. Some of the other major products that saw increases in exports were optical, photographic and cinematographic items (24.76%), organic chemicals (10.47%), mineral fuels (pitch and pitch cocks obtained from coal) (45.29%) etc. Beverages exports from Japan to the UAE increased by less than a per cent to $34.02m in 2011 from $33.92m in 2010. UAE was Japan’s 3rd largest market for beverages in 2011.
Japan’s imports from the UAE:
While mineral fuels dominated Japan’s imports from the UAE, aluminium imports showed substantial increase:
The value of Japan’s imports from the UAE surged 46.53% to $42,912.73m in 2011, compared to $29,285.21m in 2010. UAE’s share in Japan’s total imports rose to 5.02% in 2011 from 4.22% in 2010. 98.45% of imports from the UAE were consisted of mineral fuels that include crude oils, gaseous hydrocarbons and other petroleum products. The value of crude oils imported from the UAE rose by 48.83% to $33,139.92m, covering 78.44% of the total imports. In terms of volume, Japan’s crude oil imports from UAE increased by 8.24% to 301.05 million barrels in 2011, compared to 278.12 million barrels in 2010. The average price of crude oils surged 37.50% in 2011, to $110.08 per barrel, compared to $80.06 per barrel in 2010. UAE remained to be the 2nd largest supplier of crude oils to Japan after Saudi Arabia, covering 23.32% of Japan’s total crude oil imports during the whole year. Saudi Arabia at the same time maintained its position as the largest supplier of crude oil to Japan, supplying over 430 million barrels of crude oil in 2011, covering 33.01% of Japan’s total crude oil imports. Other major suppliers of crude oil to Japan in 2011 were Qatar, Iran, Kuwait, Russia, Indonesia, Iraq and Oman; in the order of import value.
Beside crude oils, Japan imported petroleum gases and other fuels in large quantities from the UAE. Total value of gas imports from the UAE exceeded $7bn in 2011, an increase by nearly 37% compared to the previous year. Major among the different petroleum gases that Japan imported from the UAE was Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), of which, the value stood at $4,404.80m in 2011. Other categories of gas imports were Liquefied Propane and Liquefied Butanes gases. There had also been increases in the volume and prices of petroleum gases during the year 2011. In terms of volume, the total import of gases rose by 5.96% to 8.48 million tons in the place of 7.98 million tons in the previous year. The average price of petroleum gases imported from the UAE in 2011 rose 29.28% to $831.17 per metric ton, compared to $642.94 per metric ton in 2010. Other than crude oils and gases, Japan also imports oil preparations from the UAE and the volume of imports of oil preparations reached 19.96 million barrels in 2011 from 18.50 million barrels in 2010, an increase of 10.14%.
Among Japan’s imports from the UAE other than fuel oils, aluminium held a major position. UAE has been a traditional source of semi-finished aluminium for Japan since many years, and in 2011 aluminium imports from the UAE surged considerably. Japan imported a total of 205.64 million kg of aluminium in 2011 at a cost of $2.64 per kg, compared to 139.24 million kg at a cost of $2.36 per kg in 2010. The total value of aluminium imports from the UAE in 2011 surged by 64.81% to $543.60m, compared to $329.83m in 2010. Japan’s aluminium imports from the world over rose by 14.96% to $9,222.18m, compared to $8,021.83m in 2010. UAE became the 6th largest supplier of aluminium to Japan, jumping ahead four positions from the previous year. Major other suppliers of aluminium, in the order of import value, were Australia, Russia, China, Brazil and New Zealand. South Africa, Indonesia, Canada and Argentina were also major suppliers of aluminium to Japan in 2011.
Japan’s import of precious stones and metals from the UAE increased 65.11% to $24.83m in 2011, out of which, diamond imports alone were valued at $21.67m, an increase by 67.07%.
In addition mineral fuels, aluminium and precious stones, Japan imported limited quantities copper scrapes worth $23.86m (-20.87%), synthetic fabrics worth $3.13m (up by 75.08%) and baking related goods such as pasta worth $2.65m (up by 75.08%) from the UAE in 2011.
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