Japan Trade Surplus Widens 37.7% in September

Japan's trade surplus widened to JPY 670.17 billion in September 2017 from JPY 486.59 billion in the same month a year earlier and above market consensus of a JPY 559.8 billion surplus.

Exports from Japan rose 14.1 percent from the previous year to JPY 6,811.0 billion in September, easing from a 18.2 percent gain in the previous month and missing market expectations of 14.9 percent. It was the 10th consecutive increase in exports, mainly boosted by a surge in exports of cars (2.8 percent), parts of motor vehicles (10.8 percent) and chemical products (24.7 percent). Also, sales of machinery went up 17.4 percent, boosted by power generating machine (19.6 percent) and semicon machinery (19.3 percent). Sales of manufactured goods increased by 16.7 percent, led by iron and steel products (15.5 percent). In addition, exports of electrical machinery rose 14.6 percent, mainly driven by semiconductors (12.3 percent) and IC (16.3 percent). Exports of others rose 17 percent, driven by scientific, optical instruments (14 percent).

Among major trading partners, exports rose to China (29.3 percent); the US (11.1 percent); the EU (11.5 percent), of which Germany (18.3 percent); South Korea (17.3 percent) and Taiwan (4.7 percent). 

Imports to Japan rose at a softer 12 percent to JPY 6,140.8 billion, slowing down from a 15.2 percent expansion in the previous month and missing expectations of 15 percent. Imports grew for mineral fuels (19 percent), of which petroleum (15 percent), LNG (8.6 percent) and coal (41.8 percent); electrical machinery (2.5 percent), of which semiconductors (16.8 percent) and IC (27.1 percent); foodstuff (15.9 percent); raw materials (15.2 percent); chemicals (11.3 percent); manufactured goods (12.8 percent), of which nonferrous metals (28.2 percent); machinery (19 percent); transport equipment (14.3 percent); and others (7.5 percent).

Among major trading partners, imports rose from China (1.6 percent); the US (17.2 percent); Taiwan (19 percent); South Korea (18 percent); the EU (15.3 percent), of which Germany (17.1 percent) and Australia (16.3 percent).

Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com
10/19/2017 9:35:04 AM