Japan logs $10.4 billion trade deficit for May

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Money traders work under a screen indicating the U.S. dollar is traded at 100.845 yen at a foreign exchange company in Tokyo, Friday, May 10, 2013. INQUIRER file photo

TOKYO – Japan’s trade deficit for May expanded 9.5 percent from a year earlier to $10.4 billion, official data showed Wednesday as import costs rose on a weak yen.

Data from the finance ministry showed Japan incurred a trade deficit of 993.9 billion yen, the 11th straight monthly shortfall.

That was the longest run of monthly deficits since a 14-month string from July 1979 to August 1980.

But May’s deficit was smaller than expected as the market had forecast a shortfall of around 1.2 trillion yen.

Exports rose 10.1 percent to 5.76 trillion yen, growing for the third straight month on higher shipments to the United States and China.

Imports also climbed 10.0 percent, an increase for the seventh consecutive month, as costs of fuel and other items jumped due to a weaker yen.

A lower yen helps make Japanese exporters more competitive overseas but pushes up import bills.

Japan’s fuel imports have soared as most of its nuclear reactors remain off-line since the huge earthquake and tsunami in 2011 sparked the world’s worst atomic accident in a generation.

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  • delpillar

    Before the 3/11/2011 Tohoku Earthquake, 38% of Japan power generation requirements were supplied by Nuclear. There were at least 20 Nuclear reactor (out 54) that were running at nationwide. (Usually the 30 are in Maintenance Stage and more than half of those 30 reactors can be anytime run).

    Each nuclear reactor is 2,000Megawatt Power Generation.
    Nationwide, after the earthquake, 40,000 Megawatt from Nuclear were out. These are about 3 times larger than what the entire Philippines is generating.

    That 40,000 Megawatt power capacity was replaced by oil, diesel, LNG, Shale gas and all of these minerals were important from Indonesia, Malaysia, USA, Russia etc.

    Imagine what is the cost of generating 40,000 Megawatt from fossil fuel by importation 100% of them?

    late last year, the OOI Nuclear PowerPlant was put to operation giving back 4,000MegaWatt back to the grid.

  • Kaizensigma

    Is Abenomics a big time ponzi scheme? is it the desperate shot in the arm for desperate time? is this abe’s the last bag of trick off his sleeves? .

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