Japan's trade balance swung back into the black in February as exports regained momentum, led by shipments to China, according to preliminary figures released by the Finance Ministry on Thursday.
However, the ministry warned of possible significant impacts on exports and imports from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeastern part of the country on March 11.
http://www.joc.com/logistics-economy/sony-idles-japan-plants-may-shift-production Many factories in a wide range of industries have been forced to stop production in the wake of the twin natural disasters.
Japan posted a trade surplus of $8.07 billion with the rest of the world in February, up 2.5 percent from the same month of last year and the first surplus in two months.
In January, Japan had incurred a trade deficit of $5.87 billion as imports rose at a much faster pace than exports. It was the first time in 22 months that Japan, now the world's third-largest economy after the United States and China, had purchased more from abroad than it had sold abroad.
In February, Japan's overall exports grew for the 15th straight month on a year-on-year basis, rising 9 percent to $69 billion, while its overall imports grew for the 14th consecutive month on a year-on-year basis, increasing 9.9 percent to $60.93 billion.
The pace of growth in Japan's overall exports was much faster than a tepid 1.4 percent in January. But the pace of growth in Japan's overall imports slowed from 12.1 percent in January.
The rise in Japan's overall exports was led by autos, steel and metal processing machinery.
The rise in Japan's overall imports was fueled by crude oil, iron ore and coal.
Japan's exports to the United States rose for the 14th successive month, increasing 2 percent to $10.52 billion. But the pace of growth slowed from 6 percent in January.
Japan's imports from the U.S. rose for the first time in three months, increasing 3.1 percent to $5.62 billion. Japan's imports from the U.S. had dropped 1.3 percent in December and 1.8 percent in January.
Join us for a free webcast Friday on rebuilding Japan supply chains with two MIT logistics experts, from Journal of Commerce & PIERS http://bit.ly/hjVkm1
-- Contact Hisane Masaki at firstname.lastname@example.org.