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Japan Registers Second Consecutive Annual Trade Surplus in 2017
[2018.04.23]

In 2017, Japan’s trade balance was in the black for the second straight year, but the surplus margin was smaller than in the previous year. Factors underlying the trade surplus included robust exports of semiconductor production equipment to South Korea and automobiles to the United States.

Japan posted a ¥2.9 trillion trade surplus in 2017, marking the second straight year for the balance to be in the black; but the positive margin was 27.2% smaller than in the previous year.

According to the confirmed report on 2017 trade statistics released on March 13 by the Ministry of Finance, overall exports increased by 11.8% year-on-year, to ¥78.3 trillion, marking the second straight annual increase. Robust exports of semiconductor production equipment to South Korea and automobiles to the United States contributed to the rise in exports.

Imports also rose in 2017, by 14.1%, to a total of ¥75.4 trillion, due to such factors as rising prices for crude oil and coal. There was an increase in oil imports from Saudi Arabia and coal imports from Australia.

Exports to the United States enjoyed the largest proportional surplus by country thanks to the increase in automobile exports. These rose 3.0% over the previous year, to ¥7.0 trillion, marking a return to growth after shrinking in 2016. Imports from EU countries were at a record high. Although Japan exported many automobiles and other products to Britain, it suffered a trade deficit of ¥96.8 billion with the European Union as a whole amidst rising imports from Germany.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: Ministry of Finance in April 2018)

  • [2018.04.23]
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