Japan Trade Surplus Narrows 17% in July


Japan's trade surplus fell 17.0 percent to JPY 418.77 billion in July of 2017 from JPY 504.53 billion in the same month a year earlier but above market consensus of a surplus of JPY 392.0 billion. Exports rose 13.4 percent from a year earlier to JPY 6,494.89 billion while imports increased by 16.3 percent to JPY 6,076.19 billion.

In July, exports rose 13.4 percent from the previous year to JPY 6,494.9 billion in July 2017, just below expectations of a 13.6 percent gain. It was the eighth straight month of increase in exports as all categories lifted. Sales of transport equipment grew by 11.4 percent, supported by motor vehicles (6.0 percent) and parts of motor vehicles (15.8 percent). Also, outbound shipments of machinery went up 13.7 percent, boosted by power generating machine (20.9 percent) and semicon machinery (11.2 percent). Sales of manufactured goods increased by 9.0 percent, led by iron and steel products (5.3 percent). In addition, exports of electrical machinery rose 11.7 percent, mainly driven by semiconductors (11.8 percent) and IC (15.7 percent). Sales of chemicals went up 14.9 percent, boosted by organic chemicals (14.6 percent) and plastic materials (10.5 percent). Exports of others rose 21.2 percent, driven by scientific, optical instruments (20.1 percent). In addition, outbound shipments of foodstuff rose 3.8 percent and those of raw materials gained 20.5 percent.

Among major trading partners, exports rose to China (17.6 percent); the US (11.5 percent); the EU (8.3 percent), of which Germany (12.2 percent); South Korea (16.8 percent) and Taiwan (5.5 percent). 

Imports increased by 16.3 percent from a year earlier to JPY 6,076.1 billion, albeit short of market expectations of a 17 percent gain. Purchases rose for most categories: mineral fuels (25.9 percent), of which petroleum (7.9 percent); electrical machinery (17.2 percent); chemicals (5.1 percent); machinery (29.0 percent); others (5.4 percent), of which scientific, optical instrument (21.4 percent); foodstuff (12.8 percent); manufactured goods (22.2 percent) and raw materials (30.7 percent). In contrast, imports fell for transport equipment (-6.5 percent), mainly due to motor vehicles (-22.8 percent) and aircraft (-12.4 percent).

Among major trading partners, imports rose from China (13.1 percent); the US (13.9 percent); Taiwan (22.4 percent); South Korea (21.9 percent); the EU (3.1 percent), of which Germany (7.0 percent) and Australia (36.1 percent).

Ministry of Finance l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
8/17/2017 8:13:56 AM