Japan Trade Balance Swings to Surplus
Japan recorded a ¥ 111.5 billion trade surplus in October of 2015, compared to a ¥ 741.8 billion deficit a year earlier, as exports posted the first annual decline in more than a year while imports shrank for the tenth straight month.
11/19/2015 12:35:11 AM
Exports fell 2.1 percent year-on-year to ¥ 6543.96 billion in October of 2015, the first annual drop since August of 2014. Among main export parterns, sales decreased to China (-3.6 percent), South Korea (-8 percent), Taiwan (-1.6 percent) and Hong Kong (-2 percent) but rose 6.3 percent to the United States.
By product, shipments of manufactured goods contributed the most to the decline (down 9.2 percent), specially iron and steel products (-17.3 percent) and nonferrous metals (-12.2 percent), followed by chemicals (down 7.6 percent), mineral fuels (down 5.3 percent) and machinery (down 2.2 percent). In contrast, sales of transport equiment accounting for 24.7 percent of total exports rose 0.7 percent, mainly cars (up 1.7 percent).
Imports slumped 13.4 percent year-on-year to ¥ 6432.5 billion, tenth straight fall. Purchases from China went down 5.2 percent and those from the Middle East plunged 51.5 percent while imports from the United States grew 1 percent. LNG imports decreased 12.8 percent and those of crude oil went down 3.7 percent while imports of thermal coal edged up 0.7 percent.