Japan reduced exports for the first time in 14 months

Moscow. November 19. The cost of Japanese exports in October 2015 decreased by 2.1% relative to the same month last year, up to 6.54 trillion yen ($52.9 billion), after rising 0.5% in September, according to the report released on Thursday official data.

The decline was seen for the first time since August 2014. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, forecasted a more modest rate of reduction – 2%. In volume terms, exports decreased by 4.6%.

Imports to Japan fell by 13.4% against the expected drop of 8.6%. The reduction of imports, which has continued for 10 consecutive months, have contributed, in particular, reduction of prices for oil and liquefied natural gas.

As a result, the trade balance of Japan in October returned to surplus after six months of negative balance: exports in October exceeded imports for at 111.5 billion yen ($900 million). Meanwhile, the consensus forecast assumed the deficit to increase 246,3 billion yen last month to 115,8 billion yen in September.

The balance had been negative for 48 of the 56 months since March 2011, when Japan suffered a devastating earthquake and tsunami. Due to natural disasters and the accident at the NPP “Fukushima” Japan was forced to significantly increase energy imports.

Exports from Japan to China, which is its largest trade partner, declined in October for the third consecutive month by 3.6%. Drop shipments to Asia as a whole also amounted to 3.6% and was the highest in more than a year.