Japan trade deficit

TOKYO: Japan’s trade balance slipped back into a deficit in November but was nearly 60 per cent lower than a year earlier as a drop in imports outpaced a three per cent decline in its exports. Tepid demand overseas, especially in China, has been a persistent challenge as Japan, the world’s number three economy, struggles to keep its recovery on track. Exports totalled 5.98 trillion yen and imports 6.36 trillion yen, leaving a deficit of 379.7 billion yen. In October, Japan recorded a surplus of 111.5 billion yen. The data reported on Thursday showed Japan’s exports to Asia dropped 8.7 per cent from the year before, with an eight per cent fall in exports to China. Exports to US rose two per cent. Overall, imports fell 10 per cent thanks largely to a drop in costs for imports of crude oil and gas. Japan’s exports of machinery, one of its mainstays, fell in November, while shipments of vehicles rose.