Exports by value rose a meager 1.8 percent year-on-year to ¥ 6382.6 billion, much lower than a 9.8 percent annual increase recorded in February. Sales to China rose 4.3 percent, after surging 27.7 percent in February.
Shipments to South Korea fell 6.2 percent; exports to Thailand decreased 12.5 percent; those to Australia contracted 8.3 percent and shipments to Canada decreased 11.6 percent. Exports to the US slowed to an annual 3.5 percent growth rate (5.7 percent in the previous month) and sales to the Western Europe rose 8.8 percent. Exports by volume fell the most since June last year.
Imports by value advanced 18.1 percent on the year to ¥ 7828.9 billion, up from a 9 percent increase recorded in the previous month. Purchases of Liquefied Natural Gas rose nearly 4 percent and imports of Liquefied Petroleum Gas rose more than 8 percent.