Japan Trade Deficit Narrows in August

Japan reported a trade deficit of ¥569.66 billion in August of 2015, much lower than a ¥953.22 billion gap a year earlier. Yet, it is the highest trade gap since January this year, as exports slowed.

In August, exports increased by 3.1 percent year-on-year to ¥5881.48 billion, following a 7.6 percent rise in July. Sales to the US rose the most by 11.1 percent. Those to Asia, representing more than half of the country's total sales increased by 1.1 percent with shipments to Hong Kong rising 5.8 percent, Taiwan (+8.8 percent), India (+22.9 percent), Vietnam (+15.0 percent) and Singapore (+8.8 percent). Exports to China declined by 4.6 percent, followed by South Korea (- 2.5 percent, Thailand (-2.0 percent), Malaysia (-4.4 percent) and Indonesia (-10.1 percent). Outbond shipments also increased to Oceania (+24.7 percent), Western Europe ( +0.1 percent) and Middle East countries (+5.4 percent). In contrast, sales to Russia declined by 44.1 percent and those to Middle South America dropped by 1.7 percent.

By commodity, value of exports increased for: foodstuff (+18.0 percent), mineral fuels (+0.1 percent), chemicals (+0.2 percent), electrical machinery (+2.4 percent), transport equipment (+9.5 percent) and others (+9.1 percent). In contrast, exports declined for: raw materials (-5.4 percent), manufactured goods (-3.1 percent) and machinery (-0.5 percent). 

Imports declined by 3.1 percent year-on-year to ¥6451.14 billion, after falling 3.2 percent in July. Inbound shipments decreased for raw materials (-11.9 percent) and mineral fuels (-29.9 percent with sales down for: petroleum (-32.9 percent), petroleum products (-33.5 percent), LNG (-30.2 percent) and LPG (-44.3 percent). In contrast, imports increased for: foodstuff (+2.3 percent), chemicals (+24.8 percent), manufactured goods (+2.2 percent), machinery (+17.6 percent), electrical machinery (+14.9 percent), transport equipment (+8.7 percent) and others (+15.3 percent). 

In July 2015, Japan posted a ¥ 268.43 billion deficit.

Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com
9/17/2015 12:52:30 PM