The value of Japan’s trade increased 10 percent in both exports and imports in May 2013, according to Japan’s Ministry of Finance. Imports reached their highest value in more than 2 1/2 years.
Japanese imports were valued at 6.763 trillion yen (about US$68.7 billion) in May 2013, up 10.1 percent from May 2012, when they were valued at $62.4 billion. May marked the seventh straight month of year-over-year import growth in Japan, with May’s value having grown at a slightly accelerated rate compared to that of April, which grew 9.5 percent. Import value also rose 1.6 percent month-to-month from April when it stood at $67.7 billion. In the first five months of 2013, imports were valued at $330.8 billion, 8.8 percent higher year-over-year.
Japan's export growth, also up 10.1 percent in May and totaling $58.6 billion, marked the third straight year-over-year increase. Each monthly year-over-year increase was at an accelerated pace, with the highest rate being May’s 3.8 percent increase over April. However, May’s export volume edged down 0.2 percent from April, when the export value was $58.7 billion. For the January-May 2013 period, exports were valued at $283.5 billion, 3.5 percent higher than they were during the same period in 2012.