Japan Records First Trade Surplus Since June of 2012


Japan reported a trade surplus of ¥229.26 billion in March of 2015, swinging from ¥1450.73 billion deficit a year earlier and beating market forecasts. It is the first surplus since June 2012, as exports rose while imports dropped.

In March, exports grew by 8.5 percent year-on-year to ¥6927.38 billion. Sales to USA rose the most by 21.3 percent, followed by the Middle East countries (+15.4 percent), the Western Europe (+7.0 percent) and Africa (+29.11 percent). Exports to the Asia countries, representing more than half of the country's total sales, also increased by 6.7 percent. Shipments rose to India (+29.6 percent), China (+3.9 percent), Singapore (+14.6 percent), Taiwan (+6.1 percent) and South Korea (+4.3 percent). In contrast, sales to Oceania dropped by 13.6 percent with those to Australia fell by 10.5 percent and to New Zealand declined by 24.9 percent.

By commodity, value of exports increased for all categories except mineral fuels: foodstuff (+27.8 percent), raw material (+5.8 percent), chemicals (+5.5 percent), manufactured goods (5.2 percent), machinery (+10.3 percent), electrical machinery (+8.4 percent), transport equipment (10.0 percent) and other (+17.8 percent). In contrast, exports of mineral fuels dropped by 37.6 percent.

Imports declined by 14.5 percent year-on-year to ¥6698.12 billion, as all purchases fell except for foodstuff and chemicals. Shipments value decreased for: raw materials (-3.4 percent), manufactured goods (-3.6 percent), machinery (-5.9 percent), electrical machinery (-2.8 percent), transport equipment (-0.6 percent) and others (-10.0 percent). Imports of mineral fuels also decreased by 36.5 percent. Purchases of petroleum dropped by 50.7 percent,  petroleum  products (-38.3 percent), LNG (-12.3 percent), LPG (-40.1 percent) and coal (-12.5 percent). In contrast, purchases of foodstuff rose by 7.2 percent while those of chemicals increased by 7.1 percent.

In February 2015, Japan posted a ¥ 425 billion trade deficit.

Japan Records  First Trade Surplus Since June of 2012


Ministry of Finance l Rida Husna l rida@tradingeconomics.com
4/22/2015 2:17:15 AM