Japan Posts 4th Straight Trade Deficit in Oct on Global Slump
— Japan Oct Trade Deficit Y549.0 Bln; MNI Fcast -Y337.0 Bln
— Japan Oct Exports -6.5% Y/Y; MNI Median Forecast -5.1%
— Japan Oct Exports Post 5th Straight Y/Y Drop
— Japan Oct Imports -1.6% Y/Y; MNI Median Forecast -3.8%
— Japan Oct Imports Post 1st Y/Y Fall in 2 Months
— Japan Oct Exports To Asia -4.9% Y/Y, 5th Straight Drop
— Japan Oct Exports To China -11.6% Y/Y, 5th Straight Drop
— Japan Oct Exports To US +3.1% Y/Y, 12th Straight Rise
— Japan Oct Exports To EU -20.1% Y/Y, 13th Straight Fall
TOKYO (MNI) – Japan incurred a trade deficit for the fourth straight month
in October as exports continued to slump on slow global demand for automobiles,
particularly from China and Europe, data from the Ministry of Finance showed
The deficit widened to Y549.0 billion last month form the year-earlier
shortfall of Y283.0 billion. It was larger than the median forecast for a Y337
billion deficit in a MNI survey of economists.
Japanese shipments to the world dropped 6.5% from a year earlier to Y5.15
trillion in October, a fifth straight y/y decline, following a 10.3% fall in
September. It came in worse than the median forecast for a 5.1% fall in a MNI
survey of economists.
In October, exports of general machinery, including mining equipment,
slumped 11.3% from a year earlier (vs. -10.5% in September) while shipments of
automobiles and other transportation equipment fell 7.2% (vs. 16.6% in
Japanese imports dipped 1.6% to Y5.70 trillion in October for the first
fall in two months, after a 4.1% rise in September. The drop was smaller than
the median forecast by economists in a MNI survey for a 3.8% fall.
In October, imported crude oil prices averaged $115.6 a barrel, up 4.2% on
year, following a 0.8% increase in September.
Exports to Asia, the largest market for Japanese goods, fell 4.9% to Y2.84
trillion last month, a fifth straight year-on-year fall, as exports to China
tumbled 11.6% to Y947.8 billion last month, also a fifth straight fall.
China’s economy expanded only 7.4% from a year earlier in the
July-September quarter, marking the slowest growth since +6.6% in the first
quarter of 2009 at the height of the previous global slump.
Toyota and other Japanese car makers have seen their sales in China plunge
since September, when the Sino-Japanese territorial row over small islands led
to Chinese consumer boycott of Japanese products.
By contrast, exports to the U.S. rose 3.1% on year to Y921.1 billion in
October for a 12th straight year-on-year increase, thanks for continued solid
demand for Japanese automobiles.
Car exports to China fell 82.0% on year in October, the largest drop since
-88.3% in October 2001, when the bilateral ties were strained over Japan’s
wartime past, MOF data showed.
Meanwhile, exports to the European Union tumbled 20.1% to Y508.8 billion
last month for a 13th straight year-on-year fall.
Alarmed by the European sovereign debt crisis, uncertainties about China’s
economic recovery and the dampening effects of the strong yen on exports, the
Bank of Japan raised the target of its asset-buying program to Y80 trillion from
Y70 trillion in September and further to Y91 trillion in October.