Japan’s exports to the United States rose for the 13th consecutive month in November on a year-over-year basis, increasing 5.3 percent to $11.11 billion, according to preliminary figures released by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday.
The pace of year-over-year growth in exports to the U.S. quickened from 3.1 percent in October. The November growth in U.S.-bound shipments was led by auto parts and autos, which grew 25.9 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively, in terms of value.
Japan’s imports from the U.S. fell for the first time in five months in November on a year-over-year basis, dropping 5.5 percent to $5.71 billion. As a result, Japan’s trade surplus with the U.S. expanded for the second straight month, swelling 19.8 percent from a year earlier to $5.40 billion.
The November decline in imports from the U.S. was led by grains and organic compounds, which plunged 27.7 percent and 21.7 percent, respectively, in terms of value.
The U.S. is Japan’s second-largest trading partner after China.
In November, Japan posted a trade deficit of $11.35 billion with the rest of the world, the biggest on record for that month, as overall exports fell while overall imports rose. It was the fifth successive monthly trade deficit.
Japan’s overall exports fell for six months in a row on a year-over-year basis, declining 4.1 percent to $59.33 billion, and its overall imports increased for the first time in two months, edging up 0.8 percent to $70.68 billion.
Japan is now the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China and is heavily dependent on exports for growth.
Japan’s overall exports sank because of weaker demand for its products amid the slowing global economy. Shipments to the 27-nation European Union (EU) and China showed particularly big declines of 19.9 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively.