Japan Trade November 2019


Japan: Exports drop for the 12th consecutive month in November

December 18, 2019

Nominal yen-denominated merchandise exports fell 7.9% year-on-year in November, representing the 12th consecutive monthly decline, after dropping 9.2% in October. Still, November’s reading was better than the 8.6% decrease market analysts were expecting.

Exports were hampered in November by a sharp drop in both manufactured goods and machinery shipments. On a geographical basis, exports to Korea slumped notably, partly due to rising trade protectionism between Korea and Japan, as did exports to the United States.

Merchandise imports fell 15.7% in November, down from the 14.8% decrease in October. The merchandise trade balance therefore improved to a JPY 0.1 trillion deficit in November, up from the JPY 0.7 trillion deficit recorded in the same month a year earlier (October 2019: JPY 0.0 trillion balance). The 12-month trailing trade deficit was JPY 1.5 trillion in November, down from JPY 2.2 trillion in October.

In 2020, our panelists forecast that exports will increase 3.1% and imports will rise 3.9%, bringing the trade balance to a deficit of USD 4.7 billion. In 2021, our panelists expect exports to expand 4.3% and imports to rise 3.4%, with a consequent trade balance of USD 1.7 billion.

Author:, Economist

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Japan Trade Chart

Japan Trade12m November 2019

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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