Japan recorded a trade deficit of JPY 449 billion in October 2018 compared to a JPY 278.6 billion surplus in the same month a year ago, much worse than market expectations of a JPY 70 billion gap. Imports jumped the most since 2014, as rising energy prices boosted oil imports while exports rebounded less than expected. The trade surplus with the US shrank 11 percent year-on-year to JPY 573.4 billion while the trade gap with China jumped 52.1 percent to JPY 406.2 billion. Balance of Trade in Japan averaged 361.46 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.

Balance of Trade in Japan is expected to be -457.02 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 -471.24 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
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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 ¥-449B ¥131B ¥-70B ¥ -88.6B
2018-12-18 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-449B ¥ -100B
2019-01-22 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥ -457.3B
2019-02-19 11:50 PM Balance of Trade



Japan Trade Balance Swings to Defict in October



Japan recorded a trade deficit of JPY 449 billion in October 2018 compared to a JPY 278.6 billion surplus in the same month a year ago, much worse than market expectations of a JPY 70 billion gap. Imports jumped the most since 2014, as rising energy prices boosted oil imports while exports rebounded less than expected.

Imports jumped 19.9 percent year-on-year to JPY 7.69 trillion, much faster than a 7 percent rise in September and higher than market estimates of 14.5 percent. It is the biggest annual gain in imports since January of 2014 and the highest value since March of 2014. Purchases of mineral fuels soared 36.3 percent, driven by petroleum (33.7 percent), LNG (49.3 percent) and coal (14.3 percent). Also, imports increased for: electrical machinery (10.1 percent); machinery (28.1 percent); chemicals (24.2 percent); manufactured goods (20.1 percent); transport equipment (11.7 percent%) and others (16.7 percent). Among major trading partners, purchases went up mainly from China (16.1 percent); the US (34.3 percent);, Australia (35.2 percent); the EU (10 percent); Saudi Arabia (18.4 percent) and South Korea (22 percent).

Exports increased 8.2 percent year-on-year to JPY 7.24 trillion, missing market expectations of a 9 percent surge and after an upwardly revised 1.3 percent decrease in September. Higher shipments were recorded for: transport equipment (9 percent); machinery (7.7 percent); electrical machinery (8.2 percent); manufactured goods (9.2 percent); chemicals (13.5 percent) and others (1.4 percent). Among major trading partners, sales rose to China (9 percent); the US (11.6 percent); the EU (7.7 percent); South Korea (1.7 percent); and Taiwan (6.4 percent). 

The trade surplus with the US shrank 11 percent year-on-year to JPY 573.4 billion while the trade gap with China jumped 52.1 percent to JPY 406.2 billion. 

Considering January to October 2018, Japan recorded a trade gap of JPY 401 billion, compared to a surplus of JPY 2.4 trillion in the same period of 2017.



Ministry of Finance l Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com
11/19/2018 12:18:06 PM



Japan Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade -449.26 131.34 1608.67 -2795.12 JPY Billion [+]
Current Account 1309.90 1821.60 3360.40 -1456.11 JPY Billion [+]
Current Account to GDP 4.02 3.70 4.70 -1.00 percent [+]
Imports 7692.69 6588.09 8047.03 162.06 JPY Billion [+]
Exports 7243.43 6719.42 7681.69 105.08 JPY Billion [+]
External Debt 426882.00 413946.00 426882.00 141743.00 JPY Billion [+]
Terms of Trade 95.00 95.90 276.10 83.10 Index Points [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 12535.00 13545.00 45202.00 -3825.00 JPY Hundreds Million [+]
Capital Flows 15337.00 31777.00 51917.00 -26928.00 JPY HML [+]
Tourism Revenues 18476000.00 17647000.00 27665000.00 821000.00 JPY Thousand [+]
Tourist Arrivals 2640600.00 2159600.00 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 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 December of 2018.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-449.26 131.34 1608.67 -2795.12 1963 - 2018 JPY Billion Monthly
Current Prices, NSA




Country Last Previous
Argentina 277.00 Oct/18
Australia 2316.00 Oct/18
Brazil 4062.09 Nov/18
Canada -1165.20 Oct/18
China 447.40 Nov/18
Euro Area 13141.70 Sep/18
France -4052.00 Oct/18
Germany 18300.00 Oct/18
India -17130.00 Oct/18
Indonesia -1819.90 Oct/18
Italy 1274.37 Sep/18
Japan -449.26 Oct/18
Mexico -2936.00 Oct/18
Netherlands 4850.00 Oct/18
Russia 19697.00 Oct/18
Saudi Arabia 162782.00 Jun/18
Singapore 4520.91 Oct/18
South Africa -5549.90 Oct/18
South Korea 5139.00 Nov/18
Spain -3297100.00 Sep/18
Switzerland 2637.00 Oct/18
Turkey -456.10 Oct/18
United Kingdom -3300.00 Oct/18
United States -55488.00 Oct/18


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