Japan’s exports to the United States rose for the fourth straight month in April on a year-on-year basis, surging 14.8 percent to 1.101 trillion yen ($10.69 billion), according to preliminary figures released by the Finance Ministry.
The April jump in U.S.-bound shipments was led by autos, organic compounds and mineral fuels, which soared 21.0 percent, 69.4 percent and 1,353.4 percent, respectively, in terms of value.
Japan’s imports from the U.S. rose for the first time in two months in April on a year-on-year basis, edging up 0.8 percent to 538.3 billion yen ($5.23 billion). As a result, Japan’s trade surplus with the U.S. expanded for four months in a row, swelling 32.5 percent from a year earlier to 563.0 billion yen ($5.47 billion).
The April growth in imports from the U.S. was led by organic compounds, meat and coal, which jumped 49.4 percent, 27.5 percent and 51.9 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.
Japan posted a trade deficit of 879.9 billion yen ($8.54 billion) with the rest of the world in April, as overall imports rose at a much faster pace than overall exports. It was the 10th successive monthly trade deficit and the largest trade deficit on record for the month of April.
Japan’s overall exports rose for the second consecutive month in April on a year-on-year basis, increasing 3.8 percent to 5.777 trillion yen ($56.09 billion), while its overall imports grew for the sixth straight month, surging 9.4 percent to 6.657 trillion yen ($64.63 billion).
The April growth in Japan’s overall exports was led by organic compounds, autos and mineral fuels, which soared 40.9 percent, 6.5 percent and 58.6 percent, respectively, in terms of value.
The April growth in Japan’s overall imports was led by liquefied natural gas (LNG), clothing and clothing accessories, and electronic parts, including semiconductors, which jumped 17.9 percent, 25.6 percent and 30.0 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.