Japan posted a trade surplus of JPY 60 billion in April 2019 compared with a JPY 621 billion surplus in the same month a year earlier and market expectations of a JPY 203 billion surplus. Exports declined for a fifth straight month while imports gained steam. Balance of Trade in Japan averaged 356.30 JPY Billion from 1963 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 1608.67 JPY Billion in September of 2007 and a record low of -2795.12 JPY Billion in January of 2014.

Balance of Trade in Japan is expected to be 510.00 JPY Billion by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Balance of Trade in Japan to stand at 700.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Japan Balance of Trade is projected to trend around 1010.00 JPY Billion in 2020, according to our econometric models.

Japan Balance of Trade
Forecast Data Chart
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Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2019-02-19 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-1415B ¥-57B ¥-1011B ¥-1000B
2019-03-17 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥339B ¥-1416B ¥310.2B ¥-200B
2019-04-16 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥529B ¥335B ¥372.2B ¥250B
2019-05-21 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥60.4B ¥527.8B ¥203.2B ¥272B
2019-06-18 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥60.4B
2019-07-17 11:50 PM Balance of Trade
2019-08-18 11:50 PM Balance of Trade

Japan Trade Surplus Narrows Sharply

Japan posted a trade surplus of JPY 60 billion in April 2019 compared with a JPY 621 billion surplus in the same month a year earlier and market expectations of a JPY 203 billion surplus. Exports declined for a fifth straight month while imports gained steam.

Exports declined 2.4 percent from a year earlier to JPY 6.66 trillion, compared to market consensus of a 1.8 percent drop and after a similar 2.4 percent fall in March. It was the fifth straight month of falls in shipments, amid weakening global demand and the US-China trade dispute. Shipments were mainly dragged down by electrical machinery (-4.6 percent), namely semiconductors (-5.7 percent); machinery (-4.1 percent), including power generating machines (-3.5 percent) and semicon machinery (-15.1 percent); transport equipment (-2.8 percent) and manufactured goods (-0.7 percent), of which iron and steel products (-2.5 percent) and nonferrous metals (-7.1 percent). In contrast, exports rose for foodstuffs (6.1 percent); mineral fuels (12.1 percent) and chemicals (9.1 percent).

Among main trade partners, exports shrank to China (-6.3 percent), South Korea (-4.2 percent), Australia (-15.2 percent) and Indonesia (-2.7 percent). In contrast, shipments rose to the US (9.6 percent), Malaysia (1.4 percent), Thailand (1.4 percent) and Vietnam (10.4 percent).

Imports rose 6.4 percent to JPY 6.60 trillion, above market expectations of a 4.8 percent increase and following a 1.2 percent rise in the previous month. Purchases were mainly nudged by growth in imports of transport equipment (15.1 percent), essentially aircraft (55.3 percent); foodstuff (11.8 percent); raw materials (7.5 percent), mostly iron ore & concentrates (25.2 percent) and mineral fuels (7.0 percent), namely oil (13.8 percent), LNG (5.8 percent) and coal (5.9 percent).

Among main trade partners, purchases rose from China (5.9 percent), Australia (5.1 percent) and the US (2.3 percent).

Ministry of Finance l Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com
5/22/2019 11:03:50 AM

Japan Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade 60.40 527.80 1608.67 -2795.12 JPY Billion [+]
Current Account 2847.87 2676.85 3360.40 -1456.11 JPY Billion [+]
Current Account to GDP 3.50 4.00 4.70 -1.00 percent [+]
Imports 6598.35 6672.82 8047.03 162.06 JPY Billion [+]
Exports 6658.75 7201.32 7681.69 105.08 JPY Billion [+]
External Debt 442747.00 446531.00 446531.00 141743.00 JPY Billion [+]
Terms of Trade 97.90 98.00 276.10 83.10 Index Points [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 12171.03 10505.53 71136.92 -3825.00 JPY Hundred Million [+]
Capital Flows 37960.00 25305.00 51996.00 -26928.00 JPY HML [+]
Tourism Revenues 27403000.00 15787000.00 27665000.00 821000.00 JPY Thousand [+]
Tourist Arrivals 2926700.00 2760100.00 2926700.00 225806.00 [+]
Gold Reserves 765.20 765.20 765.22 753.54 Tonnes [+]
Terrorism Index 2.93 3.60 3.60 0.00 [+]
Crude Oil Production 3.00 3.00 13.00 3.00 BBL/D/1K [+]

Exports by Country  |   Exports by Category  |   Imports by Country  |   Imports by Category

Japan Balance of Trade

Between 1980 and 2010 Japan had been recording trade surpluses every year due to rising exports. Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011, trade balance swing to deficit as the country had to increase purchases of fossil fuels and gas in the wake of weaker yen. The surplus was back in 2016 and 2017. Japan reports the biggest trade surpluses with United States, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Netherlands. The biggest trade deficits are recorded with: China, Australia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Malaysia and Indonesia. This page provides - Japan Balance of Trade - actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. Japan Balance of Trade - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on May of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
60.40 527.80 1608.67 -2795.12 1963 - 2019 JPY Billion Monthly
Current Prices, NSA

Country Last Previous
Argentina 1131.00 Apr/19
Australia 4949.00 Mar/19
Brazil 6060.00 Apr/19
Canada -3211.20 Mar/19
China 138.34 Apr/19
Euro Area 22532.90 Mar/19
France -5324.00 Mar/19
Germany 22683.00 Mar/19
India -15330.00 Apr/19
Indonesia -2501.90 Apr/19
Italy 4625.00 Mar/19
Japan 60.40 Apr/19
Mexico 1370.00 Apr/19
Netherlands 5330.00 Mar/19
Russia 15537.00 Mar/19
Saudi Arabia 180059.00 Dec/18
Singapore 2782.79 Apr/19
South Africa 5004.63 Mar/19
South Korea 4120.00 Apr/19
Spain -2352600.00 Mar/19
Switzerland 2494.00 Mar/19
Turkey -2136.73 Mar/19
United Kingdom -5408.00 Mar/19
United States -50000.00 Mar/19