Japan’s exports to the United States rose for the sixth consecutive month in April on a year-on-year basis, jumping 42.9 percent to $11.99 billion, according to preliminary figures released by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday.
Japan’s imports from the U.S. also increased in April, albeit at a much slower pace of 4.4 percent, totaling $6.66 billion. It was the fourth successive monthly growth on a year-on-year basis.
As a result, Japan’s trade surplus with the U.S. expanded for three months in a row in April on a year-on-year basis, widening 165.9 percent to $5.32 billion.
The robust growth in U.S.-bound shipments in April was led by autos, which soared a whopping 317.1 percent in terms of value. It reflects a sharp drop a year earlier.
In April last year, Japan’s exports to the U.S. slumped 23.3 percent on a year-on-year basis, as the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan in the preceding month caused serious disruptions to supply chains for Japanese automakers and other manufacturers.
Japan is now the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China and is heavily dependent on exports for growth. The U.S. is Japan’s second-largest trading partner after China.
In stark contrast with brisk U.S.-bound shipments, Japan’s exports to China and the 27-nation European Union (EU) both fell for seven months in succession in April on a year-on-year basis, dropping 7.1 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.
In April, Japan’s overall exports rose for the second straight month on a year-on-year basis, increasing 7.9 percent to $69.59 billion, while its overall imports rose for 28 months in a row, increasing 8.0 percent to $76.09 billion.
As a result, Japan incurred a deficit of $6.50 billion in its trade with the rest of the world in April. It was the second consecutive monthly deficit. The deficit in April was the biggest on record for the month.
The overall export growth in April was led by autos and auto parts, which surged 219.7 percent and 17.6 percent, respectively, in terms of value.
The overall import growth in April was fueled by crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG), which soared 27.1 percent and 45.7 percent, respectively, in terms of value.
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