TOKYO: Japan’s exports fell 19.2 percent from a year before to 5,368.9 billion yen in July, posting a smaller drop than in June, the Ministry of Finance said Wednesday.
Overseas demand remained low due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. But the margin of export decline shrank from 26.2 percent in June.
In trade with mainland China, Japan marked the first increase in exports since December 2019, before the COVID-19 crisis struck the world.
Japan’s overall imports dropped 22.3 percent to 5,357.2 billion yen, mainly reflecting the weakness of crude oil and other energy-related imports.
As a result, Japan logged a customs-cleared trade surplus of 11.6 billion yen, the first surplus in four months, the ministry said in a preliminary report.
By category, exports plunged 68.2 percent for ships, 32.5 percent for auto parts and 30 percent for automobiles.
US-bound exports fell 19.5 percent to 1,091.4 billion yen, led by slow demand for engines and automobiles.
Exports to the European Union declined 30.5 percent to 439.3 billion yen.
Meanwhile, exports to China rose 8.2 percent to 1,329 billion yen. Nonferrous metal exports soared 72.4 percent, and exports of semiconductor-making equipment advanced 23.6 percent.
Imports from China decreased 9.8 percent to 1,456.4 billion yen.
As a result, Japan’s trade deficit with China shrank 66.9 percent to 127.4 billion yen.