Top Japanese Trade Balances

Tokyo skyscraper

Tokyo skyscraper

Cars, automobile parts and accessories are major drivers for the highest positive trade balances for Japan in 2016.

Japan’s total trade balance for all products equaled a US$38 billion surplus for 2016, up 32.4% from a $28.7 billion surplus in 2009.

Year over year, Japan’s $38 billion trade surplus also represents a massive improvement from its -$694.5 million deficit in 2015.

Top Japanese Trade Balances by Product and Country

Product+

The following 10 leading products generated a surplus subtotal of $174.9 billion for Japan in its global trade during 2016. Metrics listed below highlight Japan’s strongest competitive advantages over worldwide trading partners.

  1. Cars: US$81.6 billion (Up 41.5% since 2009)
  2. Automobile parts/accessories: $24.1 billion (Up 16.4%)
  3. Machinery for making semi-conductors: $15 billion (Up 110.6%)
  4. Cruise/cargo ships, barges: $11.5 billion (Down -46.6%)
  5. Trucks: $8.6 billion (Up 34.8%)
  6. Heavy machinery (e.g. bulldozers, excavators): $7.8 billion (Up 58.8%)
  7. Gold (unwrought): $7.2 billion (Up 89.1%)
  8. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $7.1 billion (Down -36%)
  9. Miscellaneous machinery: $6.3 billion (Up 66.7%)
  10. Printing machinery: $5.7 billion (Down -38.1%)

Among the above products, the greatest surpluses increases since 2009 belong to: machinery for making semi-conductors (up 110.6%), gold (up 89.1%), miscellaneous machinery (up 66.7%) and heavy machinery (up 58.8%).

Leading the decliners were: cruise/cargo ships and barges (down -46.6%), printing machinery (down -38.1%) and integrated circuits and microassemblies (-36%).

Product-

The 10 major products below accumulated a deficit subtotal of -$170.6 billion for Japan in international trade during 2016. Japan has demonstrated the severest competitive disadvantages in the exports and imports of the following commodities.

  1. Crude oil: -US$50.8 billion (Down -36.4% since 2009)
  2. Petroleum gases: -$34 billion (Down -6.9%)
  3. Phone system devices including smartphones: -$19.4 billion (Up 345.4%)
  4. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: -$15.2 billion (Down -31.1%)
  5. Medication mixes in dosage: -$14.3 billion (Up 103.9%)
  6. Computers, optical readers: -$11.5 billion (Up 30.1%)
  7. Copper ores, concentrates: -$7.4 billion (Down -9.8%)
  8. Iron ores, concentrates: -$7.35 billion (Down -15.4%)
  9. Blood fractions (including antisera): -$5.5 billion (Up 138.6%)
  10. Cases, handbags, wallets: -$5.1 billion (Up 18.3%)

Three top products accelerated Japan’s red ink in 2016 since 2009 at the fastest pace: phone system devices including smartphones (up 345.4%), blood fractions including antisera (up 138.6%) and medication mixes in dosage (up 103.9%).

Leading product trade deficit reductions since 2009 were crude oil (down -36.4%) and coal-related fuels (down -31.1%).

Country+

In 2016, Japan generated a surplus subtotal worth $177 billion with the following 10 trading partners.

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  1. United States: US$61.1 billion (Up 76.1% since 2009)
  2. Hong Kong: $31.7 billion (Up 2.9%)
  3. South Korea: $21.2 billion (Down -16.1%)
  4. Taiwan: $16.4 billion (Down -9.4%)
  5. Singapore: $12.3 billion (Down -15.6%)
  6. Netherlands: $9.5 billion (Down -5.9%)
  7. Thailand: $7.3 billion (Up 18%)
  8. United Kingdom: $7.2 billion (Up 17.9%)
  9. Panama: $5.3 billion (Down -58.2%)
  10. Mexico: $4.9 billion (Up 22.8%)

Among the above countries, Japan grew its trade surplus at the fastest pace with: United States (up 76.1%), Mexico (up 22.8%) and Thailand (up 18%).

Panama led the decliners with a -58.2% reduction in its country-specific surplus with Japan over the 7-year period.

Country-

Japan lost money in its international trade with 75 countries. Topping the list, the following 10 trade partners created a -$120.3 billion deficit subtotal in 2016 from exchanging exports and imports with Japan.

  1. China: -US$42.7 billion (Up 232.4% since 2009)
  2. Australia: -$16.2 billion (Down -28.1%)
  3. Saudi Arabia: -$14.6 billion (Down -38.7%)
  4. Qatar: -$9.3 billion (Down -34.6%)
  5. United Arab Emirates: -$9.3 billion (Down -42.4%)
  6. Indonesia: -$6.9 billion (Down -45.3%)
  7. Russia: -$6.2 billion (Up 10.5%)
  8. Ireland: -$5.5 billion (Up 39.6%)
  9. Malaysia: -$5.2 billion (Up 34.4%)
  10. Switzerland: -$4.5 billion (from a $9.3 million surplus in 2009)

These top country-specific deficits increased with the following trade partners: China (up 232.4%), Ireland (up 39.6%), Malaysia (up 34.4%) and Russia (up 10.5%).




 

See also Japan’s Top 10 Major Export Companies and Japan’s Top 10 Exports

Research Sources:
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on November 3, 2016

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on February 4, 2017

The World Factbook, Field Listing: World, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 4, 2017

Wikipedia, Economy of Japan. Accessed on February 4, 2017