Japan Posts Trade Deficit in May as Value of Imported Mineral Fuels Advances

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A jump in the value of mineral fuels imported by Japan in May contributed to the country posting a trade deficit last month as the value of goods imported exceeded that of goods exported.

The month's deficit was worth 203.4 billion Yen ($1.8 billion), according to data published by Japan's Ministry of Finance on Monday. Exports were 14.9% higher year-on-year while imports were up by 17.8% over the same time frame. Roughly half of the goods imported by Japan came from Asia, and within Asia, China accounted for almost half of the goods.

Mineral fuel - which includes petroleum, coal and liquefied natural gas, accounted for the biggest principal commodity imported, with a share of 20.3%, up 41.5% from a year earlier. It was followed by electrical machinery, worth 15% of the total value, up 11.5% year-on-year.

On the export side, transport equipment accounted for 38.1% of international sales, followed by machinery, worth 23.2% and electrical machinery, representing 13.7% of the total value.

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