Exports fell 2.7 percent year-on-year to ¥5607 billion in May, the first annual decline in fifteen months. Sales to Asia shrank 3.4 percent, with shipments to Singapore contracting the most (-16.5 percent). Exports to the United States declined 2.8 percent and sales to China rose a meager 0.4 percent.
By commodity, shipments of mineral fuels recorded the highest decrease (-45.7 percent yoy), followed by ships (-32.5 percent), medical products (-18.5 percent) and visual apparatus (-12.2 percent).
Imports shrank at a faster 3.6 percent year-on-year to ¥6516 billion. Purchases of shrimps, prawns and lobsters fell 31 percent; imports of mineral fuels dropped 9.4 percent, namely coal (-24.4 percent) and pruchases of raw materials decreased 8 percent on the year, namely iron ore (-17 percent).