Japan Balance of Trade  1963-2018 | Data | Chart | Calendar | Forecast

The trade gap in Japan increased sharply to JPY 578.3 billion in May of 2018 from JPY 204.4 billion a year earlier. Figure was worse than market expectations of a JPY 235 billion deficit, mainly due to a jump in imports. In May, imports rose by 14 percent year-on-year to JPY 6,901 billion, beating consensus of a 8.2 percent rise and reaching the highest value since January. Exports rose at a slower 8.1 percent to JPY 6,323 billion, above expectations of a 7.5 percent gain and marking the strongest growth in four months despite rising trade tension. Considering the first five months 2018, Japan's trade deficit narrowed to JPY 104.7 billion from JPY 590.1 billion in the same period of the preceding year. Balance of Trade in Japan averaged 364.63 JPY Billion from 1963 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 1608.67 JPY Billion in September of 2007 and a record low of -2795.12 JPY Billion in January of 2014.

Japan Balance of Trade
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Japan Trade Gap Widens 183% YoY in May


The trade gap in Japan increased sharply to JPY 578.3 billion in May of 2018 from JPY 204.4 billion a year earlier while markets estimated a JPY 235 billion deficit.

In May, imports surged 14 percent year-on-year to JPY 6,901 billion, beating consensus of a 8.2 percent rise and reaching the highest value since January. Purchases of mineral fuels rose by 20.7 percent, namely petroleum (28.6 percent), and those of electrical machinery increased 6.2 percent, in particular semiconductors (10.9 percent). Also imports advanced for: chemicals (19.1 percent); machinery (10.6 percent), driven by power generating machine (10.3 percent); manufactured goods (15.5 percent), of which non-ferrous metals (20.8 percent), iron & steel products (19.9 percent) and manufactures of metals (14.1 percent); foodstuff (8.2 percent), of which meat and meat preparation (6.2 percent) and fruits (6 percent); transport equipment (36.4 percent), namely motor vehicles (10.7 percent) and aircraft (264.4 percent); others (6.4 percent), of which clothing and accessories (13.4 percent); and scientific, optical instruments (9.2 percent).

Among major trading partners, inbound shipments increased from Asia (9.4 percent), mainly from China (8.6 percent); South Korea (12.7 percent); Taiwan (12.2 percent); Thailand (12.4 ). Also, purchases grew from the US (19.9 percent); the Western Europe countries (14 percent), mainly from Germany (11 percent), the UK (16.3 percent); Australia (21.1 percent); and the Middle East (33.5 percent).

Exports rose by 8.1 percent year-on-year to JPY 6,323 billion, above expectations of a 7.5 percent gain in the prior month and marking the strongest growth in 4 months. Sales of transport equipment advanced 1.7 percent, mainly led by cars (6.2 percent), and those of machinery went up 9.9 percent, namely power generating machine (4.9 percent) and semicon machinery (23.4 percent). Also, exports rose for electrical machinery (11.3 percent), of which semiconductors (8.4 percent); chemicals (12.5 percent); others (2.2 percent), mainly driven by photographic supplies (10.7 percent); and manufactured goods (10.7 percent).

Sales to Asia rose 9.8 percent, mainly to China (13.9 percent), Taiwan (12.5 percent), and Singapore (11.5 percent), while those to Hong Kong (-4.6 percent), South Korea (-0.6 percent) fell. At the same time, exports grew to the US (5.8 percent); the Middle East (15 percent) and Australia (28.1 percent). In contrast, sales declined to the EU countries (-0.3 percent), mainly the UK (-8.1 percent). 

Considering the first five months 2018, Japan's trade deficit narrowed to JPY 104.7 billion from JPY 590.1 billion in the same period of the preceding year.


Ministry of Finance | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com
6/18/2018 10:14:58 AM



Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-04-17 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥797B ¥3B ¥498B ¥ 638B
2018-05-20 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥626B ¥797B ¥405.6B ¥330B
2018-06-17 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-578B ¥625B ¥-235B ¥ -191B
2018-07-18 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-578B ¥534.2B ¥ 315.7B
2018-08-15 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥ -0.96B
2018-09-18 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥ 575.5B


Japan Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade -578.32 624.57 1608.67 -2795.12 JPY Billion [+]
Exports 6323.32 6822.35 7681.69 105.08 JPY Billion [+]
Imports 6901.65 6197.78 8047.03 162.06 JPY Billion [+]
Current Account 1938.30 1845.12 3360.40 -1456.11 JPY Billion [+]
Current Account to GDP 4.02 3.70 4.70 -1.00 percent [+]
External Debt 413448.00 404921.00 413448.00 141743.00 JPY Billion [+]
Terms of Trade 96.60 98.30 276.10 83.10 Index Points [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 5651.00 13647.52 45202.00 -3825.00 JPY Hundreds Million [+]
Capital Flows 33063.00 4298.00 51917.00 -26928.00 JPY HML [+]
Tourism Revenues 23582000.00 16296000.00 23582000.00 821000.00 JPY Thousand [+]
Tourist Arrivals 2675000.00 2900700.00 2900700.00 225806.00 [+]
Gold Reserves 765.20 765.20 765.22 753.54 Tonnes [+]
Terrorism Index 3.60 2.45 3.60 0.00 [+]
Crude Oil Production 4.00 4.00 13.00 3.00 BBL/D/1K [+]

Exports by Country  |   Exports by Category  |   Imports by Country  |   Imports by Category



Japan Balance of Trade

Between 1980 and 2010 Japan had been recording trade surpluses every year due to rising exports. Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011, trade balance swing to deficit as the country had to increase purchases of fossil fuels and gas in the wake of weaker yen. The surplus was back in 2016 and 2017. Japan reports the biggest trade surpluses with United States, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Netherlands. The biggest trade deficits are recorded with: China, Australia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Malaysia and Indonesia. This page provides - Japan Balance of Trade - actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. Japan Balance of Trade - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on July of 2018.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-578.32 624.57 1608.67 -2795.12 1963 - 2018 JPY Billion Monthly
Current Prices, NSA




balance of trade by Country
Country Last
Australia 827.00 May/18
Brazil 5881.58 Jun/18
Canada -2771.20 May/18
China 416.13 Jun/18
Euro Area 16514.10 May/18
France -6005.00 May/18
Germany 19669.00 May/18
India -16600.00 Jun/18
Indonesia 1742.60 Jun/18
Italy 3377.54 May/18
Japan -578.32 May/18
Mexico -1587.00 May/18
Netherlands 5030.00 May/18
Russia 15151.00 May/18
South Korea 6331.21 Jun/18
Spain -3050045.00 Apr/18
Switzerland 2255.00 May/18
Turkey -7759.34 May/18
United Kingdom -2790.00 May/18
United States -43053.00 May/18


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