Market news

19 April 2021

Japan's exports post largest monthly gain since late 2017

Reuters reports that Ministry of Finance data showed that Japan's exports posted their strongest growth in more than three years in March, led by a surge in China-bound shipments.

Data showed exports surged 16.1% in March from a year earlier, marking the steepest rise since November 2017. That was better than an 11.6% jump expected by economists, and followed a 4.5% contraction in February.

The exports surge was also marked by especially strong shipments to Japan's largest trading partner China, while the pace of recovery in firms' exports to the United States remained relatively slow, said analysts.

Shipments to China, Japan's largest trading partner, soared 37.2% in the year to March, led by nonferrous metals and plastic materials, and also boosted by stronger exports of semiconductor machinery.

Exports to the United States, the world's top economy, rose 4.9% to post their first year-on-year gain in five months, as strong demand for cars and construction machinery such as bulldozers offset lower shipments of aircrafts.

Shipments to Asia as a whole gained 22.4%, while those to the European Union advanced 12.8% in March.

Imports rose 5.7% in March compared with the same month a year earlier, versus the median estimate for a 4.7% increase, bringing a trade surplus of 663.7 billion yen ($6.11 billion) versus the median estimate for a 490.0 billion yen surplus.

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