- In the fiscal year ended March 31, imports exceeded exports by a margin of 8.17 trillion yen, or $83.4 billion at current exchange rates... That was almost twice as large as the previous year’s deficit, also a record.
- … surging imports of Chinese-made smartphones and computer chips helped give Japan a $40.7 billion bilateral trade deficit with China last year.
- At the same time, exports to China dropped 9.1 percent as a flare-up in tensions over disputed islands in the East China Sea prompted … anti-Japanese boycotts.
- … sales of Japanese automobiles and auto parts led a 10.4 percent rise in exports to the economically recovering United States, the ministry said… Japan recorded a $54 billion two-way trade surplus with the United States.
- Thursday’s figures surprised some analysts by showing that Japanese exports did not receive a noticeable lift from the sharp depreciation of the yen under the economic recovery plan put forth by the new prime minister, Shinzo Abe...
- …despite the yen’s declines, however, Japan recorded a trade deficit last month of $3.7 billion, more than four times as large as the trade shortfall in the same month the year before. It was the largest deficit ever recorded in the month of March.
- Over all, Japanese exports fell last year by 2.1 percent to $652 billion while its imports rose 3.4 percent to $736 billion, the ministry reported.
- Imports of fuel, which account for more than a third of Japan’s total imports, surged last year as the nation’s atomic plants remained idled from the March 2011 nuclear accident. The ministry reported a 14.9 percent increase in imports of liquefied natural gas… and a 5.3 percent rise in imports of petroleum.
Data on oil prices:
Data on natural gas prices:
*MMBTU = one million BTUs (British thermal units)
"Abe Says Incomes Should Begin To Rise After Summer," Nikkei.com, April 18, 2013.
Martin Fackler, "Japanese Exports Rise, but Demand for Goods Is Lackluster," The New York Times, April 18, 2013.
"Gov't may not request power-saving across Japan this summer," Mainichi Japan, April 17, 2013.Yoko Kubota, "Look to Japan's ageing industrial sprawl for roadblock to Abenomics," Reuters.com, April 22, 2013.