Japan Trade Deficit Narrows in January

Japan recorded a ¥645 billion deficit in January of 2016, lower than a ¥1164 billion gap a year earlier. Exports slumped 12.9 percent year-on-year, the biggest decline since October of 2009, reaching the lowest in two years and imports shrank at a faster 18 percent. Both figures came worse than market expectations.

Exports contracted for the fourth straight month to ¥5351.6 billion, following an 8 percent drop in December. Shipments to the United States went down 5.3 percent, sales to China fell 17.5 percent, those to South Korea declined 17.4 percent and exports to Taiwan decreased 8.6 percent. In contrast, sales to the United Kingdom went up 3.8 percent. By product, sales of machinery (-17 percent), manufactured goods (-22 percent) and electrical machinery (-11.7 percent) accounted the most for the decline.
Imports fell to ¥5997.6 billion, the lowest in nine months and following an 18 percent decrease in December, marking the 13th straight decline. Purchases from China went down 6 percent, those from the United States decreased 9.7 percent, imports from Saudi Arabia dropped 43.5 percent and those from the United Arab Emirates went down 38.7 percent while imports from the Western Europe grew 4.4 percent, specially from Ireland (+178 percent). By product, imports of mineral fuels (-44.6 percent) were the main responsible for the drop, mainly LNG (-55.4 percent) and petroleum (-43.4 percent).

Ministry of Finance | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
2/18/2016 12:22:02 AM