In the overall trade, UAE was Japan’s 8th largest trading partner, climbing one position up, compared to the previous year. UAE’s trade balance with Japan remained high at $35.03bn, close to the previous year’s balance of $35.40bn.
Though Japan’s world trade showed a marginal increase of 0.27% to $1.68 trillion in 2012, her trade deficit widened by 175% to $87.3bn, compared to $31.7bn in 2011. While Japan’s exports to the world over declined by 3.05% to $798.4bn, her imports grew by 3.46% to $885.6bn in 2012.
China stood at the top of the list of Japan’s major trading partners with a bilateral trade value of UAE $332.58bn, followed by the United States of America with a trade value of $216.29bn. Japan’s other major trading partners in 2012 were South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Thailand and Saudi Arabia, ahead of the UAE.
Japan’s major exports to the UAE:
Japan’s major exports to the UAE were motor vehicles, general machinery, electrical machinery, iron and steel, rubber products, textiles, plastic products, beverages, glass products etc.
The year 2012 saw a fast recovery in Japan’s vehicle exports to the UAE after the slump in 2011 due to the production setbacks necessitated by the Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami and the nuclear accident at Fukushima. The value of vehicle exports to the UAE rose by almost 42% in 2012 to $4.49bn, compared to $3.17bn in 2011. Vehicle exports covers more than 50% of the value of Japan’s total exports to the UAE. These vehicle export figures are in addition to the export of Japanese branded passenger cars to the UAE from manufacturing facilities located in other countries, such as the USA and Australia.
Exports of passenger motor cars, the largest single component of exports to the UAE from Japan, rose by 43% to $2,926m in 2012 from $2,046m in 2011. Among the passenger motor cars, export of higher capacity passenger cars – above 3000 cc – surged by more than 60% to $2,080m in 2012 from $1,298m in 2011, covering 71% of the value of total passenger cars exported to the UAE from Japan.
Export of motor trucks rose by 59% to $770m in 2012 from $483m in 2011. A dramatic surge in the export of small trucks of less than 5 ton capacity was registered in 2012, with a growth rate of 146% to $197m from just $80m in the previous year. Trucks having capacity between 5 and 20 tons have also posted a growth rate of 52% in 2012. Similarly, export of public transport busses have also surged by more than 80% to $321m in 2012, compared to $177m in the previous year.
UAE was the 7th largest vehicles export market for Japan in 2012, advancing 3 positions compared to the previous year, and improving the coverage from 2.14% to 2.76% of Japan’s total market coverage the world over. USA remained to be the top market of Japanese vehicles, valuing nearly $50bn in 2012, compared to $41bn in 2011. China remained at the distant 2nd position with a value of $13.5bn, 12.4% less than the value in 2011. Australia, Russia, Thailand and Canada occupied the 3rd, to 6th positions.
The value of general machinery export to the UAE contracted in 2012 due to the climb-down in the export of air pumps, ship derricks and cranes which had an unusual jump in export in the previous year. An average 7.8% fall in the export of general machinery brought their export value down to $1,519m in 2012 from $1,647.2m in 2011. Civil construction machinery and equipment formed a good percentage of general machinery that has shown considerable increase in exports in 2012. Export of self-propelled bulldozers, angledozers and graders rose by 42% to $273m in 2012, compared to $192m in 2011. Other major exports in this category were liquid pumps, piston engines, cranes, printing machinery and lifting equipments.
Export of electrical goods from Japan to the UAE in 2012 remained nearly at the same level of the previous year at $616m against $620.5m in 2011. While export of insulated cables, wires, carbon electrodes, electric panels and boards etc. surged, export of transmission apparatus for radio telephony, television receivers and electric generator sets showed a decline. However, the year 2012 seemed to have applied a brake in the continuing decline in the export of electrical machinery to the UAE that had started with the global financial crisis in 2009.
Export of iron and steel products comprising mainly tubes, pipes, pipe fittings, bars, plates and sections saw an average increase of 43.5% to the UAE, with export of different types of tubes and pipes alone increasing 153% to $545m in 2012 from $356m in 2011. Though the volume is low, a similar increase was also recorded in the export of sheet piling, of which, the export grew by 208% to $6.5m in 2012 from $2.1m in 2011.
Rubber products, mainly new tyres, saw an increase in exports by nearly 10% in 2012 to $563m from $513m in 2011. Among rubber products, export of new pneumatic tyres increased by 9% to $487m in 2012 from $448m in the previous year. In terms of volume, Japan exported 4.12 million new tyres to the UAE in 2012 compared to 3.97 million tyres in 2011.
Japan’s imports from the UAE:
Mineral fuels formed 98.5% of Japan’s imports from the UAE in 2012. The remaining small portion was comprised of semi-finished aluminium, scrap metals, precious stones and metals, readymade garments, fish and seafood, backing related goods, perfumes, toys etc. The value of imports from the UAE rose 2.6% to $43.98bn in 2012, compared to $42.87bn in 2011. UAE was Jpan’s 5th largest supplier, covering 4.97% of her total imports.
The value of Japan’s crude oil imports from the UAE rose 1.05% to $33.44bn in 2012, compared to $33.09bn in 2011. This amount is 76.03% of the total value of Japan’s imports from the UAE in 2012. However, in terms of volume, Japan’s crude oil imports from UAE decreased by 2.89% to 291.99 million barrels in 2012, compared to 300.67 million barrels in 2011. The average price of crude oils imported from the UAE increased 4.05% to $114.53 per barrel in 2012, in the place of $110.07 per barrel in 2011. UAE remained to be the 2nd largest supplier of crude oils to Japan, supplying 21.87% of Japan’s total crude oil imports during the whole year. Japan’s total import of crude oils from the world over was amounted to 1,336.34 million barrels in 2012, compared to 1,301.94 million barrels in 2011, an increase of 2.64%. Saudi Arabia remained to be Japan’s top supplier of crude oils in 2012.
Beside crude oils, Japan imported petroleum gases and other fuels in large quantities from the UAE. Total value of gas imports from the UAE grew by 15.23% in 2012 to $8.1bn from $7bn in 2011. Major among the different petroleum gases that Japan imported from the UAE was Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), of which, the value stood at $5bn 2012. Other categories of gas imports were Liquefied Propane and Liquefied Butane gases. In terms of volume, the total import of gases from the UAE in 2012 rose by 3.98% to 8.79 million tons in the place of 8.46 million tons in the previous year. The average price of petroleum gases imported from the UAE in 2012 was $921.32 per metric ton, compared to $831.17 per metric ton in 2011, an increase of 10.85%.
Semi-finished aluminium – Japan’s 2nd major commodity of import from the UAE, posted an 18% rise in terms of volume. Japan imported a total of 242.75 million kg of aluminium from the UAE in 2012 against 205.64 million kg in 2011. A 13.6% decline in the average price of aluminium imported from the UAE helped Japan limit the cost of import of this commodity at $553.2m, in spite of the increased volume of imports. The average price of aluminium that Japan imported from the UAE fell 13.6% to $2.28 per kg in 2012 from $2.64 per kg in 2011.
Japan’s aluminium imports from the world over stood at 3.1 billion kg in 2012, nearly one per cent higher than the volume in 2011. However, due to a 10% decline in the average import price of aluminium – from $3 per kg in 2011 to $2.7 per kg in 2012, the import cost was also brought down by around 10% to $8.3bn in 2012 against $9.2bn in 2011. UAE was Japan’s 4th largest supplier of aluminium in 2012 after China, Russia and Australia.
Japan’s import of copper waste and scrap from the UAE increased more than 80% to $43.1m in 2012, compared to $23.9m in 2011. Similarly, Japan’s import of plastic raw-materials from the UAE doubled to $3.3m from $1.65m in 2011.
The value of Japan’s fish and seafood imports from the UAE, mostly of frozen fish, fillets and other fish meal, grew to $2.06m in 2012 from just $0.25m in the previous year.
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