Japan posted a trade deficit of JPY 967 billion in May 2019 compared with a JPY 577 billion shortfall in the same month a year earlier and market expectations of a JPY 979 billion gap. Exports declined for a sixth straight month while imports edged down after climbing in April. Balance of Trade in Japan averaged 354.33 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 510.00 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 700.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Japan Balance of Trade is projected to trend around 1010.00 JPY Billion in 2020, according to our econometric models.

Japan Balance of Trade
Forecast Data Chart
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Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2019-03-17 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥339B ¥-1416B ¥310.2B ¥-200B
2019-04-16 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥529B ¥335B ¥372.2B ¥250B
2019-05-21 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥60.4B ¥527.8B ¥203.2B ¥272B
2019-06-18 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-967.1B ¥56.8B ¥-979.2B ¥-851B
2019-07-17 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-967.1B ¥ 510B
2019-08-18 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-320B
2019-09-17 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-430B

Japan Trade Deficit Widens as Trade Tensions Escalate

Japan posted a trade deficit of JPY 967 billion in May 2019 compared with a JPY 577 billion shortfall in the same month a year earlier and market expectations of a JPY 979 billion gap. Exports declined for a sixth straight month while imports edged down after climbing in April.

Exports fell 7.8% from a year earlier to JPY 5.84 trillion, compared to market consensus of a 7.7% drop and after a after a 2.4% fall in April. It was the sixth straight month of declines in shipments, amid weakening global demand and the US-China trade dispute. Shipments were mainly dragged down by machinery (20 percent of total exports), down 13.1 percent after falling 4.1 percent in the previous month, as semicon machinery plummeted 30.4 percent. Also, electrical machinery (17 percent of total exports) plunged 9.9 percent after a 4.6 percent decline, as telephony dropped 22.6 percent and audio & visual apparatus shrank 21.8 percent.

Among main trade partners, exports fell to China (-9.7 percent), Korea (-13.3 percent), Australia (-17.2 percent), and Brazil (-30 percent). In contrast, sales to the United States climbed 3.3 percent. 

Imports declined 1.5 year-on-year to JPY 6.80 trillion, compared to market expectations of a 0.2 percent increase and following a 6.4 percent rise in the previous month. Purchases were mainly dragged by a 10.5 percent drop in chemicals. Imports also contracted for: foodstuff (-3.9 percent), raw materials (-3.1 percent), manufactured goods (-2.2 percent), and mineral fuels (-1.6 percent). In contrast purchases of transport equipment jumped 10.2 percent, namely motor vehicles (14.3 percent) and aircraft (25.4 percent).

Among main trade partners, imports from the US dropped 1.6 percent and from China 0.9 percent, whereas purchases from Western Europe jumped 7.0 percent.

Ministry of Finance l Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com
6/19/2019 10:27:45 AM

Japan Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade -967.11 56.80 1608.67 -2795.12 JPY Billion [+]
Current Account 1707.39 2847.87 3360.40 -1456.11 JPY Billion [+]
Current Account to GDP 3.50 4.00 4.70 -1.00 percent [+]
Imports 6802.24 6598.35 8047.03 162.06 JPY Billion [+]
Exports 5835.13 6658.75 7681.69 105.08 JPY Billion [+]
External Debt 462696.00 442747.00 462696.00 141743.00 JPY Billion [+]
Terms of Trade 96.80 97.90 276.10 83.10 Index Points [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 17484.94 12171.03 71136.92 -3825.00 JPY Hundred Million [+]
Capital Flows -12709.00 37960.00 51996.00 -26928.00 JPY HML [+]
Tourism Revenues 28213000.00 27403000.00 28213000.00 821000.00 JPY Thousand [+]
Tourist Arrivals 2773100.00 2926700.00 2926700.00 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 June of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-967.11 56.80 1608.67 -2795.12 1963 - 2019 JPY Billion Monthly
Current Prices, NSA

Country Last Previous
Argentina 1131.00 Apr/19
Australia 4871.00 Apr/19
Brazil 6422.00 May/19
Canada -966.20 Apr/19
China 416.58 May/19
Euro Area 15671.60 Apr/19
France -4981.00 Apr/19
Germany 17900.00 Apr/19
India -15360.00 May/19
Indonesia 207.60 May/19
Italy 2884.57 Apr/19
Japan -967.11 May/19
Mexico 1370.00 Apr/19
Netherlands 4154.00 Apr/19
Russia 13705.00 Apr/19
Saudi Arabia 180059.00 Dec/18
Singapore 3962.64 May/19
South Africa -3427.45 Apr/19
South Korea 2271.00 May/19
Spain -1605300.00 Apr/19
Switzerland 1654.00 May/19
Turkey -2982.01 Apr/19
United Kingdom -2740.00 Apr/19
United States -50791.00 Apr/19