Japan Trade Surplus Largest in Over 5 Years


Japan recorded a 754.9 JPY billion surplus in March of 2016, widening sharply from a 223.47 JPY billion surplus a year earlier but missing market consensus of 834.6 JPY billion surplus. It is the largest surplus since October 2010 as exports fell less than imports.

Year-on-year, sales dropped by 6.8 percent to 6,456.66 JPY billion, marking the sixth straight month af fall. Among the country's main export partners, sales decreased to China (-7.1 percent), South Korea (-13.5 percent), Taiwan (-8.8 percent), Hong Kong (-2.9 percent), Thailand (-15.8 percent), Indonesia (-21.3 percent) and India (-15.2 percent). Outbound shipments also fell to the US (-5.1 percent), the Middle East (-17.8 percent), Russia (-22.8 percent), Australia (-3.4 percent) and South Africa (-28.2 percent). In contrast, exports rose 13.3 percent to Western Europe.

By product, shipments of mineral fuels dropped the most by 25.4 percent), followed by raw materials (-20.3 percent), manufactured goods (-18.8 percent), chemicals (-11.1 percent), machinery (-10.1 percent), electrical machinery (-7.1 percent) and others (-0.6 percent). In contrast, sales rose for foodstuff (+3.2 percent) and transport equipment (+3.3 percent, mainly due to a 1.3 percent increase in motor vehicles).

Imports dropped by 14.9 percent to 5,701.62 JPY billion, the 15th straight month of decline. Purchases declined from South Korea (-17.7 percent), Taiwan (-3.8 percent), Thailand (-12.4 percent), Malaysia (-33.4 percent), Indonesia (-19.9 percent) and India (-15.8 percent). Imports also fell from the US (-20.0 percent), Western Europe (-6.4 percent), Russia (-21.4 percent), the Middle East (-39.4 percent) and South Africa (-41.2 percent). In contrast, inbound shipments rose 6.3 percent from China.

Purchases decreased the most for mineral fuels (-37.8 percent), mainly due to petroleum: -36.1 percent, petroleum products: -46.3 percent, LNG: - 43.7 percent: LPG -29.1 percent and coal: -19.4 percent . Imports also fell for foodstuff (-6.0 percent), raw materials (-24.9 percent), chemicals (-7.4 percent), manufactured goods (-8.1 percent), machinery (-1.0 percent), electrical machinery (-10.2 percent) and transport equipment (-15.7 percent). In contrast, purchases rose 6.0 percent for others.

In February 2016, trade surplus was recorded at 242.16 JPY billion. 

Japan Trade Surplus Largest in Over 5 Years


Ministry of Finance l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
4/20/2016 12:28:04 PM