Japan Trade Deficit Narrows More than Expected
The trade gap in Japan decreased to JPY 943 billion in January of 2018 from JPY 1092 billion a year earlier and below market expectations of JPY 1002 billion. Exports jumped 12.2 percent year-on-year, beating forecasts of a 10.3 percent rise and marking the 14th straight month of gains. Imports rose at a slower 7.9 percent, below expectations of an 8.3 percent gain but reaching the highest value in 3 years.
Exports rose 12.2 percent year-on-year to JPY 6085 billion, beating forecasts of a 10.3 percent rise. Main upward contributions came from shipments of machinery (up 19.6 percent), namely semicon machinery (3.7 percent); chemicals (17.3 percent); electrical machinery (11.6 percent), namely electrical apparatus (17.8 percent); cars (6.6 percent); manufactured goods (14.3 percent), namely iron and steel products (10 percent) and nonferrous metals (27.4 percent).
Sales rose to all main export partners: China (30.8 percent), the US (1.2 percent), South Korea (7.6 percent), Taiwan (9.8 percent), Hong Kong (11.6 percent), Thailand (5.4 percent), Germany (21 percent), Australia (2.8 percent), the UK (35 percent), Vietnam (21.9 percent), Indonesia (23.5 percent), the Netherlands (5.2 percent).
Imports went up 7.9 percent year-on-year to JPY 7029 billion, slightly below forecasts of an 8.3 percent rise. Main upward contribution came from mineral fuels (up 9.7 percent), namely petroleum (11.4 percent); and chemicals (20.1 percent), namely medical products (25.3 percent).
Purchases rose from India (12 percent), the Middle East (15.4 percent) and the US (9.4 percent) but fell from China (-3.3 percent).
2/19/2018 12:28:30 AM