Japan posted a goods trade deficit of 40.72 billion yen ($389 million) in May for the first red ink in four months, the government said Monday, with the balance weighed down by sluggish exports amid a slowdown in overseas economies.
The value of exports dropped 11.3 percent from a year earlier to 5.09 trillion yen, down for the eighth straight month, while imports plunged 13.8 percent to 5.13 trillion yen for the 17th consecutive monthly fall, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report.
Exports to China, a major destination for Japanese products, shed 14.9 percent to 901.94 billion yen for the third consecutive monthly decline, while imports from the country declined 9.7 percent to 1.30 trillion yen, down for two months in a row.
Japan’s shipments to the United States decreased 10.7 percent to 969.87 billion yen for the third straight monthly decline, while imports fell 8.5 percent to 624.23 billion yen, down for three consecutive months.
Exports to the European Union declined 4.0 percent to 577.80 billion yen for the first decline in four months and imports slipped 1.5 percent to 651.44 billion yen for the third consecutive monthly decrease.