Japan’s Trade Surplus Expanded to $4.5 Billion

Japan’s trade surplus expanded 4.7-fold in October from a year earlier to 496.17 billion yen ($4.5 billion), marking a second straight month of black ink, the government said Monday, with falling exports outweighed by a drop in imports tied to lower crude oil prices.

The value of exports dropped 10.3 percent from a year earlier to 5.87 trillion yen, falling for the 13th straight month, dragged down by a firming yen in addition to sluggish steel exports and automobile shipments to the Middle East.

Imports plunged 16.5 percent to 5.37 trillion yen, marking a 22nd straight month of decline, reflecting a continued drop in crude oil prices, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report. The value of crude oil imports plunged 27.2 percent.

Japan’s weakening exports reflected “sluggish growth in global trade,” said Toru Suehiro, senior market economist at Mizuho Securities Co. “In addition, a firming yen negatively affected exports” by reducing price competitiveness of Japanese products, he said.

An appreciating yen pushes down import prices but usually hurts exports by making Japanese products more expensive abroad and reduces the value of overseas revenues in yen terms.

via Mainichi

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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