Kuwait\'s exports to Japan surged 23.1 percent from a year earlier to JPY 92.22 billion (USD 1.20 billion) in July for the third straight month of expansion, official data showed Thursday. Imports from Japan plunged 22.2 percent to JPY 8.10 billion (USD 105.7 million), down for the sixth consecutive month, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report. As Kuwaiti export prices to Japan far exceeded import prices, the gulf emirate posted a trade surplus with Japan for the 42nd month in a row in July at JPY 84.11 billion (USD 1.10 billion). The figure widened for the third straight month. Japan is Kuwait\'s major trading partner, with two-way trade reaching JPY 1.026 trillion (USD 13.39 billion) in 2010. The Middle East\'s trade surplus with Japan also expanded 37.7 percent to JPY 868.98 billion (USD 11.34 billion), with Japan-bound exports expanding 27. 7 percent from a year earlier to JPY 1.039 trillion (USD 13.54 billion). Crude oil and petroleum products, which accounted for 98.0 percent of Japan\'s total imports from the area, jumped 27.5 percent year-on-year. July imports from Japan to the Middle East shrank 6.8 percent to JPY 169.68 billion (USD 2.21 billion), largely due to a plunge in shipments of transport equipments, machinery and electrical components, which accounted for 74.8 percent of the region\'s total imports from Japan. Demand for automobiles fell 10.4 percent. Meanwhile, Japan posted a JPY 72.48 billion (USD 945.6 million) global trade surplus in July for the second straight month of surplus, adding to signs that export-oriented economy have continued to recover from the March 11 disaster, although the figure was 90.8 percent year-on-year. Exports fell 3.3 percent on the year to JPY 5.782 trillion (USD 75.43 billion) for a fifth straight month, with shipments of automobiles, ships and semi conductors sharply dropping. The magnitude 9.0-earthquake and tsunami on March 11 destroyed many factories in northeastern Japan and caused nationwide parts supply problems. Imports gained 9.9 percent to JPY 5.709 trillion (USD 74.48 billion), up for the 19th consecutive month, due to increases in the values of crude oil and other energy resources imports. The trade data are measured on a customs-cleared basis before adjustment for seasonal factors.