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Japan posts goods trade deficit for 2nd year in row in 2019

  • January 23, 2020
  • , Kyodo News , 10:16 a.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO — Japan logged a goods trade deficit of 1.64 trillion yen ($14.95 billion) in 2019, marking a second straight year of red ink, amid slowing demand in China, government data showed Thursday.


Exports fell 5.6 percent from a year earlier to 76.93 trillion yen, outpacing a 5.0 percent decrease in imports to 78.57 trillion yen, according to a preliminary report by the Finance Ministry.


By region, Japan saw a deficit of 3.76 trillion yen with China, its largest trading partner in terms of the total sum of imports and exports.


The margin of red ink against China expanded for the first time in four years due to weak demand for products from Japan, including car components and manufacturing equipment for semiconductor devices, on the back of its trade tensions with the United States.


Across Asia, Japan netted a surplus of 3.93 trillion yen, but its black ink shrank for a second year.


Japan had a surplus of 6.63 trillion yen against the United States, a larger margin than the previous year, with robust demand for manufacturing equipment for integrated circuit chips and pharmaceutical products contributing.


With Europe, Japan logged a record deficit of 756.37 billion yen as exports of cars and pharmaceutical products declined.


For December, Japan logged a goods trade deficit of 152.52 billion yen, according to a separate preliminary report. Exports fell for the 13th straight month, down 6.3 percent to 6.58 trillion yen, while imports declined 4.9 percent to 6.73 trillion yen, falling for the eighth consecutive month.


The figures were compiled on a customs-cleared basis.

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