Japan Trade February 2020


Japan: Exports drop for the 15th month running in February

March 18, 2020

Yen-denominated merchandise exports fell 1.0% in February in year-on-year terms, after dropping 2.6% in January, largely due to lower machinery shipments, which make up nearly one-fifth of total merchandise exports. The reading marked the 15th consecutive decline in exports. Imports slumped 14.0% in February, after dropping 3.6% in January.

The merchandise trade balance improved to a JPY 1.1 trillion surplus in February from both the JPY 0.3 trillion surplus in the same month a year earlier and the JPY 1.3 trillion deficit in January. The 12-month trailing trade deficit narrowed to JPY 0.8 trillion in February from JPY 1.5 trillion in January.

Our panelists forecast that exports will increase 4.0% in 2020 and imports will also rise 4.0%, bringing the trade balance to a surplus of USD 2.8 billion. In 2021, our panelists expect exports to expand 5.5% and imports to rise 5.1%, prompting the trade balance to log a surplus of USD 5.8 billion.

Author:, Economist

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Japan Trade Chart

Japan Trade12m February 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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