Japan logged a trade deficit of JPY 1415 billion in January 2019, compared to a JPY 948 billion shortfall a year earlier and market expectations of a JPY 1011 billion gap. It is the fourth consecutive monthly gap and the widest since March 2014, as exports declined 8.4 percent (vs -3.8 percent in December) to JPY 5.57 trillion, mainly dragged by a 17.4 percent plunge in sales to China. Meantime, imports edged down 0.6 percent (vs +1.9 percent in December) to JPY 6.99 trillion, despite a 7.7 percent climb in purchases from the US. Balance of Trade in Japan averaged 356.55 JPY Billion from 1963 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 1608.67 JPY Billion in September of 2007 and a record low of -2795.12 JPY Billion in January of 2014.

Balance of Trade in Japan is expected to be -480.00 JPY Billion by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Balance of Trade in Japan to stand at 400.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Japan Balance of Trade is projected to trend around 410.00 JPY Billion in 2020, according to our econometric models.

Japan Balance of Trade
Forecast Data Chart
Trading Economics members can view, download and compare data from nearly 200 countries, including more than 20 million economic indicators, exchange rates, government bond yields, stock indexes and commodity prices.

The Trading Economics Application Programming Interface (API) provides direct access to our data. It allows API clients to download millions of rows of historical data, to query our real-time economic calendar, subscribe to updates and receive quotes for currencies, commodities, stocks and bonds.

Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-11-18 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-449B ¥131B ¥-70B ¥ -88.6B
2018-12-18 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-737B ¥-450B ¥-600.3B ¥ -100B
2019-01-22 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-55B ¥-738B ¥-29.5B ¥-25B
2019-02-19 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-1415B ¥-57B ¥-1011B ¥-1000B
2019-03-17 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-1415B
2019-04-16 11:50 PM Balance of Trade
2019-05-20 11:50 PM Balance of Trade

Japan Trade Gap Largest in Near 5 Years

Japan posted a trade deficit of JPY 1.42 trillion in January 2019, compared to a gap of JPY 0.95 trillion in the same month a year earlier and market expectations of a deficit of JPY 1.01 trillion. It is the fourth consecutive monthly gap and the widest since March 2014, as exports fell 8.4 percent, the most since October 2016, to JPY 5.57 trillion, while imports edged down 0.6 percent to JPY 6.99 trillion.

Exports declined 8.4 percent year-on-year to JPY 5.57 trillion in January, worse than market consensus of a 5.5 percent drop and after an upwardly revised 3.9 percent decrease in December. It was the second straight month of falls in shipments and the steepest since October 2016, amid weakening global demand and ongoing trade dispute between China and the US. Sales fell for: transport equipment (-5.9 percent), namely parts of motor vehicles (-3.7 percent); and machinery (-10.7 percent), in particular power generating machine (-2.4 percent) and semicon machinery (-27.8 percent). Also, exports of electrical machinery contracted 8 percent, namely semiconductors (-3.6 percent); and IC (-5 percent); and those of others fell 14.6 percent, mainly due to scientific, optical instruments (-15.8 percent). In addition, sales of chemicals dropped 4.2 percent, in particular organic chemicals (-5.6 percent) and plastic materials (-13.9 percent); and those of manufactured goods  shrank 11 percent, of which iron and steel products (-13.7 percent) and nonferrous metals (-19.2 percent). 

Among major trading partners, overseas sales dropped to Asia (-13.1 percent), in particular to China (-17.4 percent), South Korea (-11.6 percent), Taiwan (-11 percent), and Hong Kong (-21.2 percent). Also, exports fell to Australia (-18.7 percent); Western Europe (-6.6 percent), in particular Germany (-3.3 percent), the UK (-11 percent), and Netherlands (-7 percent); and Middle East (-13.2 percent), namely Saudi Arabia (-14.2 percent). In contrast, exports to the US grew 6.8 percent.

Imports dropped 0.6 percent to JPY 6.99 trillion, less than market expectations of a 2.8 percent fall and following a 1.9 percent growth in December. Purchases of mineral fuels declined 2 percent, namely petroleum (-10.3 percent) and petroleum products (-17.9 percent). Also, imports of electrical machinery shrank 1.5 percent, in particular telephony, telegraphy (-5.1 percent) and telephone sets (-6.6 percent). At the same time, inbound shipments of raw materials decreased 10 percent, namely ore of nonferrous (-18.3 percent) and iron ore and concentrates (-18.5 percent). In contrast, imports rose for: others (1 percent), of which clothing and accessories (6.1 percent), bags (7.5 percent); and chemicals (2.5 percent), in particular medical products (9.8 percent). In addition, purchases of machinery grew 2.3 percent, driven by computers and units (10.5 percent) and those of manufactured goods went up 1.2 percent; namely manufactures of metals (5.3 percent) and iron and steel products (10.3 percent). Also, imports of transport equipment rose 1 percent, mostly aircrafts (71.5 percent) while the ones of motor vehicles fell 19.6 percent.

Purchases decreased from Western Europe (-2.8 percent), in particular Germany (-1.4 percent), Italy (-8.5 percent) and France (-17.9 percent); Middle East (-12.3 percent), in particular Saudi Arabia (-5.3 percent), United Arab Emirates (-4.8 percent) and Qatar (-10.3 percent). By contrast, imports rose from Asia (0.5 percent), of which China (5.6 percent), Taiwan (1.5 percent), and Vietnam (0.7 percent); Australia (19.8 percent); and the US (7.7 percent).

Ministry of Finance l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
2/20/2019 5:00:45 PM

Japan Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade -1415.36 -57.00 1608.67 -2795.12 JPY Billion [+]
Current Account 452.80 757.22 3360.40 -1456.11 JPY Billion [+]
Current Account to GDP 4.02 3.70 4.70 -1.00 percent [+]
Imports 6989.46 7078.94 8047.03 162.06 JPY Billion [+]
Exports 5574.23 7022.21 7681.69 105.08 JPY Billion [+]
External Debt 446531.00 426882.00 446531.00 141743.00 JPY Billion [+]
Terms of Trade 98.60 96.20 276.10 83.10 Index Points [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 10090.78 22692.42 45202.00 -3825.00 JPY Hundreds Million [+]
Capital Flows 1839.00 11120.00 51917.00 -26928.00 JPY HML [+]
Tourism Revenues 18906000.00 22140000.00 27665000.00 821000.00 JPY Thousand [+]
Tourist Arrivals 2631800.00 2450800.00 2900700.00 225806.00 [+]
Gold Reserves 765.20 765.20 765.22 753.54 Tonnes [+]
Terrorism Index 2.93 3.60 3.60 0.00 [+]
Crude Oil Production 3.00 3.00 13.00 3.00 BBL/D/1K [+]

Exports by Country  |   Exports by Category  |   Imports by Country  |   Imports by Category

Japan Balance of Trade

Between 1980 and 2010 Japan had been recording trade surpluses every year due to rising exports. Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011, trade balance swing to deficit as the country had to increase purchases of fossil fuels and gas in the wake of weaker yen. The surplus was back in 2016 and 2017. Japan reports the biggest trade surpluses with United States, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Netherlands. The biggest trade deficits are recorded with: China, Australia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Malaysia and Indonesia. This page provides - Japan Balance of Trade - actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. Japan Balance of Trade - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on February of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-1415.36 -57.00 1608.67 -2795.12 1963 - 2019 JPY Billion Monthly
Current Prices, NSA

Country Last Previous
Argentina 372.00 Jan/19
Australia 3681.00 Dec/18
Brazil 2190.00 Jan/19
Canada -2060.10 Nov/18
China 391.60 Jan/19
Euro Area 16990.70 Dec/18
France -4653.00 Dec/18
Germany 13900.00 Dec/18
India -14730.00 Jan/19
Indonesia -1159.50 Jan/19
Italy 3658.00 Dec/18
Japan -1415.36 Jan/19
Mexico 1836.32 Dec/18
Netherlands 3572.00 Dec/18
Russia 18856.00 Dec/18
Saudi Arabia 184673.00 Sep/18
Singapore 2415.21 Jan/19
South Africa 17167.41 Dec/18
South Korea 1336.00 Jan/19
Spain -3247399.00 Dec/18
Switzerland 1388.18 Jan/19
Turkey -2674.41 Dec/18
United Kingdom -3229.00 Dec/18
United States -49313.00 Nov/18