Japan Trade Balance September 2021


Japan: Exports increase at a milder pace in September

October 20, 2021

Yen-denominated merchandise exports rose 13.0% year-on-year in September, following August’s 26.2% increase. While September’s result marked the seventh consecutive month of double-digit export growth, the reading was still the weakest result since February. Meanwhile, imports jumped 38.6% on an annual basis in September, cooling from August’s 44.7% increase that had marked the best result in over three decades. However, both of September’s readings were aided by a healthy base effect, with September 2020 having coincided with a sizeable pandemic-induced decline in trade volumes.

As such, the merchandise trade balance remained unchanged from the prior month, recording a JPY 0.6 trillion deficit in September (August 2021: JPY 0.6 trillion deficit; September 2020: JPY 0.7 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend pointed down, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a JPY 2.1 trillion surplus in September, compared to the USD 3.4 billion surfeit in August.

Our panelists forecast that exports will increase 15.2% in 2021 and imports will increase 12.8%, bringing the trade balance to a surplus of USD 44.7 billion. In 2022, our panelists expect exports to expand 5.0% and imports to expand 6.6%, pushing the trade surplus to USD 35.9 billion.

Author:, Economist

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Japan Trade Balance Chart

Japan Trade12m September 2021

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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