Japan Records Huge Trade Deficit in August


Japan reported a trade deficit equivalent to 775.3 billion yen in August, as utility firms imported fuel to meet electricity demand with many nuclear reactors still offline amid post-Fukushima disquiet.

However, exports posted their first growth since the March earthquake and tsunami. Exports rose 2.8 percent on August 2010 to 5.36 trillion yen on higher shipments of automobiles, machinery and ships, posting the first year-on-year rise in six months.

Exports to Asia rose were up 0.4 percent on year to 3.046 trillion yen, rising for the first time in six months. Exports to China alone jumped 2.4 percent on year to 1.073 trillion yen, reversing the previous month's losses.

Exports to the United States climbed an annual 3.5 percent to 803.541 billion yen, rising for the first time in six months. Exports to the European Union climbed 6.0 percent on year to 619.827 billion yen, rising for the third straight month.

But imports grew by a much faster 19.2 percent to 6.13 trillion yen due to rises in oil prices and record purchases of liquefied natural gas. Utility firms have stepped up imports of fossil fuel for thermal power generation as many nuclear reactors that automatically shut down in the disaster or went offline for regular check-ups remain suspended amid local opposition.

Imports from Asia rose 16.6 percent on year to 2.679 trillion yen, while imports from China alone rose an annual 16.3 percent to 1.301 trillion yen. Imports from the United States added an annual 2.6 percent to 503.863 billion yen. Exports from the European Union climbed 11.5 percent on year to 560.458 billion yen.


TradingEconomics.com, Ministry of Finance Japan
9/21/2011 4:09:34 PM