Tue, Oct 22, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Japanese exports fall for the 10th consecutive month


Japan’s exports fell for a 10th straight month last month amid weak demand in China, South Korea and other Asian markets, the Japanese government said yesterday.

The data showed a deepening impact from trade tensions between the US and China and between Japan and South Korea.

The Japanese Ministry of Finance said that the trade deficit in September totaled US$1.1 billion, a third consecutive month of red ink.

Exports fell 5.2 percent from the same month last year, with slower shipments of machinery and auto parts. Imports dropped 1.5 percent.

Exports to the US dropped nearly 8 percent from a year earlier, while imports from the US declined 12 percent. The trade surplus with the US fell 3.5 percent to ¥564.1 billion (US$5.2 billion).

“The risks that exports will shrink drastically have subsided, but it is expected that time will be needed before exports can recover considerably,” IHS Markit Ltd economist Harumi Taguchi said.

The tariffs between the US and China have taken a toll across the region, hurting manufacturers within extended supply chains, while a dispute between Japan and South Korea over exports of some high-tech goods has added to uncertainty.

South Korea’s exports are poised for an 11th monthly decline as China’s economy slows and tech demand struggles to rebound.

Exports during the first 20 days of this month fell 20 percent from a year earlier, data from the Korea Customs Service showed.

Semiconductor sales, which account for the largest share of exports, declined 29 percent, while overseas shipments of automobiles dropped 6.5 percent, the data showed.

Shipments to China, South Korea’s biggest trading partner, dropped 20 percent, exports to the US slid 17 percent and shipments to Japan fell 21 percent.

“The worst for exports may be over, but a meaningful rebound also appears challenging,” Barclays Bank PLC economist Angela Hsieh (謝涵涵) wrote in a report.

Overall imports fell 20 percent in the first 20 days of this month from a year earlier, the data from the customs office showed.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

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