Japan Trade Surplus Largest in 6 Years



Japan recorded a 823.47 JPY billion surplus in April of 2016, compared to a 58.34 JPY billion deficit a year earlier and beating market consensus of a 492.80 JPY billion surplus. It is the third straight month of surplus and the largest since March 2010 as exports dropped less than imports.

Year-on-year, sales dropped by 10.1 percent to 5,889.17 JPY billion, marking the fastest decline in three months and the 7th straight month af fall. Among the country's main export partners, sales decreased to China (-7.6 percent), South Korea (-14.2 percent), Singapore (-16.2 percent), Hong Kong (-16.6 percent), Thailand (-5.0 percent), Indonesia (-23.1 percent) and India (-19.9 percent). Outbound shipments also fell to the US (-11.8 percent), the Middle East (-21.9 percent), Russia (-29.7 percent), Australia (-3.2 percent) and South Africa (-28.4 percent). In contrast, exports rose to Western Europe (+9.3 percent) and the EU countries (+9.9 percent).

By product, shipments of mineral fuels dropped the most by 44.4 percent year-on-year), followed by manufactured goods (-18.0 percent), others (-14.9 percent), raw materials (-13.6 percent), chemicals (-10.4 percent, driven by organic chemicals: -25.2 percent and plastics materials: -7.5 percent), electrical machinery (-8.7 percent, mainly due to electrical, power machinery: -20.7 percent, part of audio, visual: -14.6 percent and visual apparatus: -13.1 percent), machinery (-7.2 percent, contributed by metalworking machinery: -33.6 percent and mechanical handling equipment: -21.3 percent) and transport equipment (-3.6 percent, mainly due to motor vehicles: -6.7 percent, motorcycles, autocycles: -3.9 percent and parts of motor vehicles: -3.2 percent). In contrast, sales rose for foodstuff (+2.2 percent).

Imports dropped by 23.3 percent from a year earlier to 5,065.69 JPY billion, the 16th straight month of decline. Purchases fell from most of the country's trading partners, including China (-16.8 percent), Hong Kong (-32.6 percent), Taiwan (-15.6 percent), South Korea (-17.6 percent), Thailand (-14.2 percent) and India (-18.3 percent), the US (-18.1 percent), Russia (-55.5 percent), the EU countries (-8.4 percent), the Middle East (-46.6 percent) and South Africa (-28.5 percent). In contrast, imports rose from the UK (+4.3 percent) and France (+4.6 percent).

Purchases decreased for all categories: mineral fuels (-49.3 percent), mainly due to petroleum: -51.8 percent, petroleum products: -59.3 percent, LNG: - 44.5 percent: LPG -58.3 percent and coal: -37.0 percent, foodstuff (-14.0 percent), raw materials (-24.4 percent), chemicals (-10.9 percent), manufactured goods (-21.3 percent), machinery (-13.2 percent), electrical machinery (-19.8 percent) and transport equipment (-1.9 percent) and others (-11.4 percent).

In March 2016, trade surplus was recorded at 754.90 JPY billion.


Japan Trade Surplus Largest in 6 Years


Ministry of Finance l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
5/23/2016 5:17:22 AM