Japan’s exports to the United States rose for the second straight month in February on a year-on-year basis, increasing 5.7 percent to $10.60 billion, according to preliminary figures released by the Finance Ministry on Thursday.
The February growth in U.S.-bound shipments was led by organic compounds, auto parts and motors, which jumped 64.8 percent, 15.2 percent and 18.7 percent, respectively, in terms of value.
Japan’s imports from the U.S. rose for the third consecutive month in February on a year-on-year basis, edging up 0.6 percent to $5.04 billion. As a result, Japan’s trade surplus with the U.S. expanded for two months in a row, swelling 10.8 percent from a year earlier to $5.56 billion.
The February growth in imports from the U.S. was led by petroleum products, aircraft and electric measuring instruments, which surged 130.4 percent, 20.6 percent and 29.9 percent, respectively, in terms of value.
The U.S. is Japan’s second-largest trading partner after China. Japan is now the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China and is heavily dependent on exports for growth.
In February, Japan posted a trade deficit of $8.18 billion with the rest of the world, as overall exports fell while overall imports soared. It was the eighth successive monthly trade deficit and the largest trade deficit on record for February.
Japan’s overall exports dropped for the first time in two months in February on a year-on-year basis, declining 2.9 percent to $55.62 billion, while its overall imports grew for the fourth consecutive month, surging 11.9 percent to $63.81 billion.
The February decline in Japan’s overall exports was led by autos, metal processing machinery and electronic parts, including semiconductors, which fell 5.3 percent, 23.9 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively, in terms of value.
The February growth in Japan’s overall imports was led by crude oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and clothing and accessories, which soared 12.3 percent, 19.1 percent and 47.4 percent, respectively, in terms of value. The recent weakening of the yen against the U.S. dollar pushed up the value of Japan’s overall imports.