Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Japan's exports surge in May

Japan's exports surge in May

Japan unexpectedly slumped back into a trade deficit for the first time in four months, as soaring energy import bills offset growth in the country's shipments overseas, government data showed Monday.

The trade balance came to a deficit of 203.4 billion yen ($1.83 billion), versus the median estimate for a 76.0 billion yen surplus.

"Crude oil prices rebounded while the yen was weaker in the month", Yuichiro Nagai, economist at Barclays Capital, told AFP.

Exports to China increased 23.9 percent year-on-year in May, following a 14.8 percent annual increase in April.

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Strong exports have buoyed Japan's moderate but stable growth.

Japan's trade surplus with the May rose 19.0% to Y411.1 billion, rising for the first time in three months. The fiscal surplus stood at ¥4.01 trillion, government data showed in April.

The U.S. dollar traded as high as 110.93 against the yen on Monday after the release of Japan's trade data showed that the country's exports rose 14.9 percent on year compared to the 16.1 percent expected.

Japan has imported more petroleum and liquefied natural gas for power generation since a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in 2011, which was hit by a huge quake and ensuing tsunami.

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