Mount Fuji, Japan

Japan Trade September 2019

Japan: Contraction in exports slows in September

Nominal yen-denominated merchandise exports fell 5.2% year-on-year in September, the tenth consecutive monthly decline. Although the drop was softer than the 8.2% fall witnessed in August, it was below the 3.7% contraction expected by market analysts. The result mainly reflected sharp declines in exports to neighboring Asian countries, especially South Korea, as well as to the U.S. and Canada.

Meanwhile, imports fell 1.5% in annual terms in September, markedly reduced from the 11.9% drop in August. The reading also bettered the 2.8% decline expected by market analysts and was mainly the result of lower imports of coal, gas and oil.

The merchandise trade balance reversed year-on-year to a JPY 0.1 trillion deficit in September 2019 from a JPY 0.1 trillion surplus in September 2018 (August: JPY 0.1 trillion deficit). Meanwhile, the 12-month trailing trade deficit increased to JPY 2.7 trillion in September from JPY 2.4 trillion in August.

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