Japan posted a trade surplus of JPY 339 billion in February 2019, compared with a JPY 14 billion deficit in the same month a year earlier and market expectations of a JPY 310 billion surplus. Exports declined for a third straight month and imports fell more than expected. Balance of Trade in Japan averaged 356.49 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 -480.00 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 400.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Japan Balance of Trade is projected to trend around 410.00 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
2018-12-18 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-737B ¥-450B ¥-600.3B ¥ -100B
2019-01-22 11:50 PM Balance of Trade ¥-55B ¥-738B ¥-29.5B ¥-25B
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 ¥339B
2019-05-20 11:50 PM Balance of Trade
2019-06-17 11:50 PM Balance of Trade

Japan Trade Balance Swings to Surplus in February

Japan posted a trade surplus of JPY 339 billion in February 2019, compared with a JPY 14 billion deficit in the same month a year earlier and market expectations of a JPY 310 billion surplus.

Exports declined 1.2 percent from a year earlier to JPY 6.38 trillion in February, worse than market consensus of a 0.9 percent drop and after an 8.4 percent plunge in January. It was the third straight month of falls in shipments, amid weakening global demand and the US-China trade dispute. Exports fell for: transport equipment (-3.1 percent), in particular cars (-6.1 percent) and parts of motor vehicles (-5 percent); electrical machinery (-5.6 percent), such as semiconductors (-10.7 percent), electrical apparatus (-8 percent) and telephony, telegraphy (-18.6 percent); and manufactured goods, namely iron and steel (-13.8 percent) and nonferrous metals (-10 percent). By contrast, sales of chemicals rose 4.6 percent and those of machinery increased 1.7 percent, due mainly to power generating machine (5.6 percent) and semicon machinery (0.3 percent).

Among major trade partners, exports declined to South Korea (-13.8 percent), Singapore (-18.2 percent), Thailand (-2.7 percent), Australia (-13.3 percent), Germany (-1.5 percent) and the Middle East (-9.9 percent), but rose to China (5.5 percent), Hong Kong (2.3 percent), Taiwan (0.3 percent), the US (2 percent) and the Middle South America (8.4 percent).

Imports slumped 6.7 percent to JPY 6.05 trillion, far more than market expectations of a 5.8 percent fall and following a revised 0.8 percent decline in the previous month. It was the biggest drop since November 2016, as purchases of mineral fuels plunged 6.3 percent on petroleum (-11.2 percent), petroleum products (-27.9 percent) and coal (-2.3 percent). Imports also fell for: electrical machinery (-4.3 percent), of which telephony, telegraphy (-1.9 percent) and semiconductors (-6 percent); machinery (-6.2 percent), particularly power generating machine (-12.1 percent) and computers and units (-0.2 percent); chemicals (-9.3 percent); manufactured goods (-7.8 percent), namely nonferrous metals (-12.2 percent) and manufactures of metals (-11 percent); foodstuff (-5.5 percent); raw materials (-11 percent); and others (-9.5 percent), such as clothing and accessories (-13.1 percent) and scientific, optical inst (-8 percent).

Imports dropped from China (-15.8 percent), South Korea (-10.7 percent), Taiwan (-4.4 percent), Indonesia (-14.3 percent), Australia (-5.5 percent), Saudi Arabia (-18.7 percent), but grew from Thailand (9.8 percent), the US (4.9 percent), Germany (1 percent) and the UAE (1.4 percent).

Ministry of Finance | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
3/18/2019 1:04:20 AM

Japan Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade 339.00 -1415.64 1608.67 -2795.12 JPY Billion [+]
Current Account 600.40 452.80 3360.40 -1456.11 JPY Billion [+]
Current Account to GDP 4.02 3.70 4.70 -1.00 percent [+]
Imports 6045.27 6990.32 8047.03 162.06 JPY Billion [+]
Exports 6384.27 5574.68 7681.69 105.08 JPY Billion [+]
External Debt 442747.00 446531.00 446531.00 141743.00 JPY Billion [+]
Terms of Trade 98.40 98.60 276.10 83.10 Index Points [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 71136.92 10090.78 71136.92 -3825.00 JPY Hundreds Million [+]
Capital Flows 27127.00 1839.00 51917.00 -26928.00 JPY HML [+]
Tourism Revenues 13289000.00 18906000.00 27665000.00 821000.00 JPY Thousand [+]
Tourist Arrivals 2689400.00 2631800.00 2900700.00 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 March of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
339.00 -1415.64 1608.67 -2795.12 1963 - 2019 JPY Billion Monthly
Current Prices, NSA

Country Last Previous
Argentina 372.00 Jan/19
Australia 4549.00 Jan/19
Brazil 3670.00 Feb/19
Canada -4593.40 Dec/18
China 41.18 Feb/19
Euro Area 1547.90 Jan/19
France -4195.00 Jan/19
Germany 14500.00 Jan/19
India -9600.00 Feb/19
Indonesia 329.50 Feb/19
Italy 3658.00 Dec/18
Japan 339.00 Feb/19
Mexico -4809.60 Jan/19
Netherlands 2868.00 Jan/19
Russia 13368.00 Jan/19
Saudi Arabia 184673.00 Sep/18
Singapore 5198.50 Feb/19
South Africa -13082.76 Jan/19
South Korea 3098.00 Feb/19
Spain -3247399.00 Dec/18
Switzerland 1388.18 Jan/19
Turkey -2503.45 Jan/19
United Kingdom -3825.00 Jan/19
United States -59769.00 Dec/18