Japan Trade October 2019


Japan: Exports log sharpest drop in three years in October

November 21, 2019

Nominal yen-denominated merchandise exports fell 9.2% year-on-year in October, the 11th consecutive monthly decline and the sharpest drop in three years. October’s reading was below both the 5.2% decline in September and the 7.6% 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 United States.

Meanwhile, imports fell 14.8% in annual terms in October, markedly down from the 1.5% drop in September. The reading, however, was better than the 16.0% decrease that market analysts had expected.

The merchandise trade balance was flat in October 2019, up from the JPY 0.5 trillion deficit in October 2018 (September: JPY 0.1 trillion deficit). Meanwhile, the 12-month trailing trade deficit was JPY 2.2 trillion in October (September: JPY 2.7 trillion).

Our panelists forecast that, in 2020, 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%, prompting the trade balance to log a surplus of USD 1.7 billion.

Author: Ricard Torné, Head of Data Analysis

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Japan Trade Chart

Japan Trade12m October 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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