Japan Balance of Trade  1963-2018 | Data | Chart | Calendar | Forecast

Japan’s trade surplus narrowed to JPY 140 billion in September 2018, compared to a JPY 654 billion surplus in the same month a year ago, but well above market expectations of a JPY 50 billion deficit. Imports jumped 7.0 percent (vs 15.4 percent in August), mainly nudged by a 35.4 percent increase in purchases from the Middle East. In contrast, exports contracted 1.2 percent (following a 6.6 gain percent in August), mostly dragged by a 4.6 percent drop in exports to South Korea and a 1.7 percent dip in sales to China. Balance of Trade in Japan averaged 362.70 JPY Billion from 1963 until 2018, 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.

Japan Balance of Trade
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Japan Trade Surplus Narrows 78.7% YoY in September


Japan’s trade surplus fell sharply to JPY 140 billion in September of 201 from JPY 654 billion in the same month a year ago but beating market consensus of a deficit of JPY 50 billion.

Imports increased 7 percent year-on-year to JPY 6.59 trillion in September 2018, much slower than a 15.3 percent growth in August and way below market estimates of 13.7 percent. Purchases of mineral fuels surged 42.1 percent, boosted by petroleum (37.9 percent), LNG (42.6 percent) and coal (24.5 percent); and those of electrical machinery went up 0.7 percent, driven by telephony, telegraphy (14.7 percent). In addition, imports increased for machinery (0.2 percent); chemicals (4.2 percent), namely organic chemicals (25.5 percent); and manufactured goods (2.8 percent), of which iron & steel products (9.7 percent); non-ferrous metals (3.9 percent) and manufacture of metals (3.9 percent). In contrast, imports of others fell 5 percent, of which scientific & optical instruments (-5.8 percent); and those of transport equipment declined 2.1 percent. By country, purchases rose from China (4.2 percent); South Korea (8.8 percent); the US (3.1 percent); the EU (0.7 percent); Australia (30.5 percent); and the Middle East (35.4 pct), mainly Saudi Arabia (26.7 percent) and United Arab Emirates (47 percent). In contrast, imports dropped from Taiwan (-4.2 percent); Thailand (-1.8 percent); Malaysia (-4.6 percent); Indonesia (-3.8 percent) and Western Europe (-0.8 percent), namely Germany (-7.1 percent) and Italy (-4.4 percent).

Exports unexpectedly fell 1.2 percent year-on-year to JPY 6.73 trillion, missing consensus of a 1.9 pct rise and after a 6.6 pct gain in August. It was the first decline in outbound shipments in 22 months, amid trade war fears and after a series of natural disasters. Sales of transport equipment dropped 2.1 percent, driven by motor vehicles (-4.7 percent) and aircraft (-1.5 percent); and those of others fell 7.4 percent, due to scientific & optical instruments (-3.3 percent). Also, exports were down for electrical machinery (-2.4 percent), of which semiconductors (-1.7 percent) and IC (-3.4 percent); and manufactured goods (-2.2 percent), namely non-ferrous metals (-7.1 percent) and manufacture of metals (-2.3 percent). On the other hand, exports of machinery grew 0.1 percent, led by power generating machines (3.9 percent) and semiconductor machinery (9.6 percent); and those of chemicals rose 3.4 percent, of which organic chemicals (4.2 percent). By country, sales declined to China (-1.7 percent); South Korea (-4.6 percent); the US (-0.2 percent); Western Europe (-9.4 percent), mainly Germany (-0.5 percent) and the UK (-10.8 percent); the EU countries (-4.1 percent); the Middle East (-5.3 pct), particularly Saudi Arabia (-4.9 percent); and Australia (-8.1 percent).

Considering January to September 2018, Japan recorded a trade surplus of JPY 66 billion, far lower than a surplus of JPY 1.6 trillion in the same period the preceding year. 


Ministry of Finance l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com
10/18/2018 8:37:41 AM



Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-08-15 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-231B ¥721B ¥-50B ¥ -0.96B
2018-09-18 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-445B ¥-232B ¥-468.7B ¥ 575.5B
2018-10-17 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥140B ¥-438B ¥-50B ¥ -38B
2018-11-18 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥140B ¥ -88.6B
2018-12-18 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥ 445.4B


Japan Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade 139.56 -438.45 1608.67 -2795.12 JPY Billion [+]
Exports 6726.65 6692.01 7681.69 105.08 JPY Billion [+]
Imports 6587.09 7130.46 8047.03 162.06 JPY Billion [+]
Current Account 1838.40 2009.74 3360.40 -1456.11 JPY Billion [+]
Current Account to GDP 4.02 3.70 4.70 -1.00 percent [+]
External Debt 426882.00 413946.00 426882.00 141743.00 JPY Billion [+]
Terms of Trade 95.90 96.00 276.10 83.10 Index Points [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 13545.00 11334.00 45202.00 -3825.00 JPY Hundreds Million [+]
Capital Flows 19120.00 -8462.00 51917.00 -26928.00 JPY HML [+]
Tourism Revenues 17647000.00 17929000.00 27665000.00 821000.00 JPY Thousand [+]
Tourist Arrivals 2159600.00 2577800.00 2900700.00 225806.00 [+]
Gold Reserves 765.20 765.20 765.22 753.54 Tonnes [+]
Terrorism Index 3.60 2.45 3.60 0.00 [+]
Crude Oil Production 4.00 4.00 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 October of 2018.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
139.56 -438.45 1608.67 -2795.12 1963 - 2018 JPY Billion Monthly
Current Prices, NSA




balance of trade by Country
Country Last
Argentina -1127.00 Aug/18
Australia 1604.00 Aug/18
Brazil 4971.00 Sep/18
Canada 526.10 Aug/18
China 316.93 Sep/18
Euro Area 11671.20 Aug/18
France -5632.00 Aug/18
Germany 17174.00 Aug/18
India -13980.00 Sep/18
Indonesia 227.10 Sep/18
Italy 2564.00 Aug/18
Japan 139.56 Sep/18
Mexico -2590.00 Aug/18
Netherlands 3463.00 Aug/18
Russia 15797.00 Aug/18
Saudi Arabia 162782.00 Jun/18
Singapore 3685.26 Sep/18
South Africa 8794.70 Aug/18
South Korea 9746.00 Sep/18
Spain -3247700.00 Jul/18
Switzerland 1447.00 Sep/18
Turkey -2421.79 Aug/18
United Kingdom -1274.00 Aug/18
United States -53237.00 Aug/18


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