Japan recorded a ¥140 billion surplus in December of 2015, compared to a ¥666 billion deficit a year earlier. Exports shrank 8 percent year-on-year, the biggest decline since September of 2012 and imports slumped at a faster 18 percent, worse than market expectations.
Exports contracted for the third straight month. Sales went down 8 percent year-on-year to ¥6337.6 billion, following a 3.3 percent drop in November. Shipments to the United States went down 3.4 percent, sales to China fell 8.6 percent, those to South Korea declined 15.4 percent and exports to Taiwan decreased 3.7 percent. In contrast, sales to the European Union went up 3.1 percent. By product, sales of machinery (-11.6 percent), manufactured goods (-15.6 percent) and electrical machinery (-7.9 percent) accounted the most for the decline.
Imports fell 18 percent to ¥6197 billion, following a 10.2 percent decrease in November and marking the 12th straight decline. Purchases from China went down 8.9 percent, those from the United States decreased 10.1 percent, imports from Saudi Arabia dropped 44.4 percent and those from the United Arab Emirates went down 39.9 percent while imports from the Western Europe grew 9.8 percent, specially from Ireland (+480 percent). By product, imports of mineral fuels (-43.3 percent) were the main responsible for the drop, mainly petroleum (-46.7 percent).
Considering full 2015, exports increased 3.5 percent and imports dropped 8.7 percent. The country’s trade deficit narrowed 77.9 percent to ¥2832 billion.
1/25/2016 12:24:44 AM