Japan’s exports to the United States rose for the first time in three months in July on a year-on-year basis despite a sharp decline in auto shipments, according to preliminary trade figures released by Japan’s Finance Ministry.
Japan’s U.S.-bound exports grew 2.1 percent in July from a year earlier to ¥1.128 trillion ($10.9 billion), led by robust shipments of motors, auto parts and metal processing machinery, which surged 21.3 percent, 14.4 percent and 45.1 percent, respectively, in terms of value. Automobile exports tumbled 10.3 percent in terms of value and 13.4 percent in terms of volume.
Japan’s imports from the U.S. increased for the second straight month in July on a year-on-year basis, rising 6.2 percent to ¥644.6 billion. The relatively strong growth in imports was led by grains, liquefied petroleum gas and motors, which climbed 62.7 percent, 196.8 percent and 33.6 percent, respectively, in terms of value.
Japan’s trade surplus with the U.S. shrank for the sixth month in a row in July on a year-on-year basis, narrowing 3.0 percent to ¥483.7 billion, as imports grew at a much faster pace than exports.
Japan is now the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China and is heavily dependent on exports for growth. The U.S. is Japan’s second-largest trading partner after China.
The U.S. overtook China to become Japan’s biggest export market for the first time in five years in 2013, although China remained by far the biggest source of Japanese imports.
Japan posted a trade deficit of ¥964.0 billion with the rest of the world in July, down 6.6 percent from a year earlier. It was the 25th consecutive monthly trade deficit, the longest streak of deficits on record.
Japan’s overall exports grew for the first time in three months in July on a year-on-year basis, rising 3.9 percent to ¥6.188 trillion, while its overall imports grew for the second successive month, increasing 2.3 percent to ¥7.152 trillion.
The growth in Japan’s overall exports was led by autos, metal processing machinery, and scientific and optical equipment, which rose 8.1 percent, 35.7 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively, in terms of value.
The growth in Japan’s overall imports was led by crude oil, liquefied natural gas and petroleum products, which jumped 6.9 percent, 7.4 percent and 23.3 percent, respectively, in terms of value.
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