Trade With Japan Collapses: Exports Decline 7th Month, Imports Plunge Most Since 2009

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mish Shedlock of MishTalk

Trade With Japan Collapses: Exports Decline 7th Month, Imports Decline 16th Month

Abenomics was back in the spotlight tonight. Global trade with Japan has collapsed. Exports are down and imports are down even more. The result is an unexpected rise in Japan’s trade surplus, yet another failure of abenomics.

Japanese Output Shrinks at Fastest Pace Since 2012

The Markit Japanese PMI shows Output falls at fastest rate in over two years, underpinned by a sharp
drop in new orders.

  • Flash Japan Manufacturing PMI™ at 47.6 (48.2 in April). Flash headline PMI signals sharpest decline in operating conditions since December 2012.
  • Flash Japan Manufacturing Output Index at 46.9 (47.8 in April). Production decreases at most marked rate in over two years.

Unexpected Surplus

Bloomberg reports Japan April Trade Surplus 823.5 Billion Yen, Beats Estimates.

Japan’s exports fell for a seventh consecutive month in April as the yen strengthened, underscoring the growing challenges to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to revive economic growth.

Overseas shipments declined 10.1 percent in April from a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 9.9 percent drop. Imports fell 23.3 percent, leaving a trade surplus of 823.5 billion yen ($7.5 billion), the highest since March 2010.

Trade With Japan Collapses

Japan Trade Collapses

Chart courtesy of Jeroen Blokland


Clearly those stats are not worthy of comment. Thus, there was no comment.

Comments or not, those stats are precisely what is behind the Japan-USA feud on the unwelcome, disorderly strength of the Yen from the perspective of Japan.

Orderly and Not Disorderly in Pictures


For further discussion of the meaning of disorderly, please see US and Japan Feud Over Yen, Devaluations, and Meaning of “Orderly”.

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buzzsaw99's picture

those old japs can live off half an octopus tentacle and a spoonful of rice per day. you jack with the exchange rate and sales taxes and they shut down spending on imported shit fast.

remain calm's picture

<p>And watch the yen will strengthen today. Totally manipulated BS markets. Hang Yellen and Lew.</p>

Bangin7PoundCocks's picture
Bangin7PoundCocks (not verified) buzzsaw99 May 23, 2016 7:14 AM

+1 dead Fukushima robot

jskern's picture

What about irradiated octopus? More calories?

Monetas's picture
Monetas (not verified) jskern May 23, 2016 6:33 AM

Usings ramps, gravity, springs and solenoids that keep the fuel rods in place .... I dream of a nuclear reactor .... that shuts itself down by separating fuel rods .... when the power is off ?

NoDebt's picture

But if their currency is getting stronger why are their imports dropping faster than they exports?  We might have to rethink this whole field of economics.


Monetas's picture
Monetas (not verified) May 23, 2016 6:28 AM

Japan's imports decline 23% .... good people tighten their belts .... when times are tough .... explain dat to da Nigga rappers ?

deimos178's picture

On a postive note for the Japanese economy, sale of bukkake videos are way up.

katchum's picture

Good luck Japan Debt to GDP.

Money_for_Nothing's picture

Is the trade data in currency terms? Stronger currency means less cost for same volume of imports. Exports would drop in volume because of competition. Some high priced export items are only made in Japan. That would explain a trade surplus in currency terms.

Could be import costs are dropping more than output cost are restricting exports.

This might be a positive for Japan. Can't tell without more information.

Phillyguy's picture

Time for the BOJ to get back to work- buy up more stock on the Nikkei and purchase more JGB.

johnnycanuck's picture

Which begs the question was there more than just disputed Islands motivating Abe's recent visit to Moscow?

“This is yet another indication that Obama’s policy of isolation has failed,” said Alexei Pushkov, head of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament. “It’s an important visit that shows that Japan has decided not to put all its eggs in one basket.”

Abe, America’s key ally in the Asia-Pacific, has rejected President Barack Obama’s request not to visit Russia, Kyodo reported Feb. 24."


As the world's 2nd largest importer of oil and natural gas, and current growth of direct currency trade, there may be the right conditions for the 'art of the deal'.   A look at a map shows the countries are quite close.

LNG imports by country

ZeroPoint's picture

Look on the brightside, at least the Japanese are not importing more than they export.