Japan’s Trade Balance in Deficit For 28 Consecutive Months

Japan logged a customs-cleared trade deficit of ¥710 million in October, down 35.5 percent from a year before, the Ministry of Finance said Thursday.

The country’s trade balance stayed in the red for the 28th consecutive month as the yen’s weakening boosted exports in terms of value, while lower crude oil prices restrained import growth.

The result came against a median forecast of ¥1.05 trillion among 23 economic research institutes surveyed by Jiji Press.

Exports grew 9.6 percent to ¥6.69 trillion, the largest for a single month since October 2008, when exports totaled ¥6.91 trillion.

Exports of automobiles increased 6.2 percent, led by shipments to the Middle East. Steel exports rose 11.8 percent, while exports of ships surged 53.9 percent thanks chiefly to robust growth in shipments to Southeast Asia.

Overall imports came to ¥7.40 trillion, up 2.7 percent. Imports of communications equipment jumped 29.6 percent on the back of the popularity of Apple Inc.’s iPhone 6 smartphones.

Imports of liquefied natural gas rose 6.1 percent. By contrast, crude oil imports fell 10.8 percent, reflecting a fall in international market prices fell, as well as a decrease in import volume due to sluggish growth in electricity demand.

Japan posted a trade surplus of ¥614.5 billion with the United States, up 6.8 percent, and a deficit of ¥18 billion with the European Union, down 12.7 percent.

Japan’s trade deficit with China grew 15.1 percent to ¥586.8 billion due to an increase in communications equipment imports

via Japan News

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza