Japan Trade Balance May 2020


Japan: Exports fall at fastest pace in over a decade in May

June 17, 2020

Yen-denominated merchandise exports dropped 28.3% year-on-year in May after falling 21.9% in April, largely due to lower machinery and transport equipment shipments as foreign demand evaporated. The reading marked the sharpest decline since September 2009. Imports fell 26.2% in May after dropping 7.2% in April.

The merchandise trade balance was negative JPY 0.8 trillion in May, which was narrower than the JPY 1.0 trillion shortfall in the same month a year earlier. The 12-month trailing trade deficit narrowed to JPY 2.2 trillion in May from JPY 2.3 trillion in April.

Our panelists forecast that exports will decrease 22.6% in 2020 and imports will decrease 18.9%, bringing the trade balance to a deficit of USD 23.7 billion. In 2021, our panelists expect exports to expand 10.7% and imports to expand 8.8%, prompting the trade balance to log a deficit of USD 15.6 billion.

Author:, Economist

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Japan Trade Balance Chart

Japan Trade12m May 20 20

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports in %.
Source: Ministry of Finance and FocusEconomics calculations.

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