Japan records November trade surplus after exports beat forecasts

Imports and Exports | | MIC Customs Solutions |

Japan has recorded a third consecutive trade surplus in as many months in November 2016, with imports continuing to fall faster than exports.

Japan saw a better-than-expected export performance during November 2016, helping the country to record another trade surplus.

The country's exports fell by 0.4 per cent in November compared to a year earlier, which was better than the decline of around two per cent that economists had predicted. It also marked a considerable improvement from the 10.3 per cent decline seen in October.

One key driver of this improvement was the fact that exports to China - Japan's largest trading partner - rose by 4.4 per cent, marking the first increase in nine months. This was due primarily to higher demand for car parts.

Imports, meanwhile, declined 8.8 per cent, compared to a forecast of a 12 per cent drop. This followed a 17 per cent drop the previous month.

With imports falling faster than exports, Japan's trade surplus for November came to 152.5 billion yen (€1.24 billion). This marked the country's third consecutive monthly surplus.

Kengo Tanahashi, an economist at Nomura Securities, said Japan's exports "are recovering and this trend is likely to continue", though he noted that domestic demand remains fragile at present.