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). Imports in Japan averaged 2972.87 JPY Billion from 1963 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 8047.03 JPY Billion in January of 2014 and a record low of 162.06 JPY Billion in January of 1963.
Imports in Japan is expected to be 7311.95 JPY Billion by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Imports in Japan to stand at 7452.88 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Japan Imports is projected to trend around 6040.00 JPY Billion in 2020, according to our econometric models.