Japan posted a goods trade surplus of 152.51 billion yen ($1.30 billion) in November for the third straight monthly surplus, after imports fell more than exports due to cheaper crude oil prices and the yen’s strength, the government said Monday.
The value of exports was down 0.4 percent from a year earlier to 5.96 trillion yen, down for the 14th straight month, while imports dropped 8.8 percent to 5.80 trillion yen, down for the 23rd straight month, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report.
Growth in auto parts exports to China helped overall exports mark the smallest drop in 14 mouths, while a fall in the imports of medicine, crude oil and liquefied natural gas weighed on overall imports, data showed. The value of crude oil imports plunged 14.4 percent from a year earlier.
The Japanese yen gained 13.5 percent in November from a year earlier to 104.94 yen per dollar. A strong yen tends to push down import prices while making Japanese products more expensive abroad and reducing the value of overseas profits in yen terms.