Japan trade surges in July on strong demand in China, US

By on August 16, 2017

FILE PHOTO/ Japan flag (Photo by Ruth Hartnup/Flickr, CC BY 2.0)
FILE PHOTO/ Japan flag (Photo by Ruth Hartnup/Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

TOKYO — Japan’s exports and imports rose at a fast clip in July, reflecting a recovery in demand in China, Southeast Asia and the U.S., according to data released Thursday.

Exports rose more than 13 per cent from a year earlier to 6.5 trillion yen ($59 billion) while imports jumped 16 per cent to 6.1 trillion yen ($55 billion), helped by a surge in oil and coal shipments.

The resulting trade surplus slipped 17 per cent from a year earlier to 419 billion yen ($3.8 billion).

Japan’s exports to the U.S., mainly of cars, car parts and machinery, jumped 11.5 per cent to 1.3 trillion yen ($12 billion). Imports climbed 14 per cent to 671.7 billion ($6.1 billion), as fish and meat shipments surged.

Oil imports, half of which came from the Middle East, jumped 26 per cent year-on-year to 1.2 trillion yen ($11 billion). Japan’s imports of liquefied natural gas surged 47 per cent from a year earlier and coal imports jumped 68 per cent.

China’s imports from Japan surged 18 per cent to 1.2 trillion yen. Japan’s exports to ASEAN, 10 countries belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, also jumped 18 per cent, to 1.0 trillion yen ($9 billion), with strong growth in appliances and other devices.

Much of Japan’s trade with other Asian countries are components and machinery used in manufacturing. Strong exports of machinery and electrical machinery suggest a recovery in activity in those countries.