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 2017.

Japan’s total trade balance for all products equaled a US$26.9 billion surplus for 2017, down -64.4% from a $75.7 billion surplus in 2010.

Year over year, Japan’s $26.9 billion trade surplus also represents a major setback from $38 billion in black ink the prior year in 2016.

Top Japanese Trade Balances by Product and Country

Product+

The following 10 leading products generated a surplus subtotal of $185 billion for Japan in its global trade during 2017. Metrics listed below highlight Japan’s strongest competitive advantages over worldwide trading partners.

  1. Cars: US$82.3 billion (Down -2.0% since 2010)
  2. Automobile parts/accessories: $26.3 billion (Down -11%)
  3. Machinery for making semi-conductors: $18.1 billion (Up 7.4%)
  4. Cruise/cargo ships, barges: $11.2 billion (Down -55.6%)
  5. Heavy machinery (e.g. bulldozers, excavators): $9.1 billion (Down -0.04%)
  6. Trucks: $8.6 billion (Down -15.2%)
  7. Gold (unwrought): $8.3 billion (Up 57.4%)
  8. Miscellaneous machinery: $7.7 billion (Up 1.1%)
  9. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $7.2 billion (Down -48.8%)
  10. Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products: $6.2 billion (Down -18.8%)

Japan was able to grow its trade surplus with three of the above products over the latest 7-year period: up 57.4% for unwrought gold, up 7.4% for machinery for making semi-conductors and up 1.1% for miscellaneous machinery.

Product-

The 10 major products below accumulated a deficit subtotal of -$201.4 billion for Japan in international trade during 2017. Japan has demonstrated the severest competitive disadvantages in the exports and imports of the following commodities.

  1. Crude oil: -US$63.7 billion (Down -39.8% since 2010)
  2. Petroleum gases: -$40.1 billion (Down -17.2%)
  3. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: -$23.1 billion (Down -4.2%)
  4. Phone system devices including smartphones: -$21.1 billion (Up 151.8%)
  5. Computers, optical readers: -$13 billion (Up 9.6%)
  6. Medication mixes in dosage: -$11.7 billion (Up 30.4%)
  7. Iron ores, concentrates: -$9.7 billion (Down -37.7%)
  8. Copper ores, concentrates: -$8 billion (Down -34%)
  9. Aluminum (unwrought): -$5.6 billion (Down -8.3%)
  10. Blood fractions (including antisera): -$5.5 billion (Up 68.9%)

Three top products accelerated Japan’s red ink in 2017 since 2010 at the fastest pace: phone system devices including smartphones (up 151.8%), blood fractions including antisera (up 68.9%) and medication mixes in dosage (up 30.4%).

Leading product trade deficit shrinkage since 2010 were crude oil (down -39.8%) preceded by iron ores and concentrates (down -37.7%).

Country+

In 2017, Japan generated a surplus subtotal worth $185 billion with the following 10 trading partners.

  1. United States: US$61.2 billion (Up 19.5% since 2010)
  2. Hong Kong: $33.6 billion (Down -17.6%)
  3. South Korea: $25.2 billion (Down -25.4%)
  4. Taiwan: $15.3 billion (Down -48%)
  5. Singapore: $14.1 billion (Down -17.2%)
  6. Netherlands: $10 billion (Down -18.8%)
  7. United Kingdom: $6.7 billion (Down -13.3%)
  8. Thailand: $6.7 billion (Down -49.1%)
  9. Mexico: $5.5 billion (Down -9.8%)
  10. Panama: $4.6 billion (Down -69.3%)

Japan increased its surplus with only one of the above-listed countries, thanks to a 19.5% surplus expansion with its top trade partner the United States.

Panama led the decliners with a -69.3% reduction in its country-specific surplus with Japan over the 7-year period.

Country-

Japan lost money in its international trade with 78 countries or territories. Topping the list, the following 10 trade partners created a -$132.6 billion deficit subtotal in 2017 from exchanging exports and imports with Japan.

  1. China: -US$31.5 billion (Up 740.8% since 2010)
  2. Saudi Arabia: -$24 billion (Down -18.6%)
  3. Australia: -$23 billion (Down -21.4%)
  4. United Arab Emirates: -$13.5 billion (Down -38.6%)
  5. Qatar: -$9.8 billion (Down -52.5%)
  6. Russia: -$7.8 billion (Down -3.2%)
  7. Malaysia: -$6.5 billion (Up 28.4%)
  8. Indonesia: -$6.4 billion (Down -48%)
  9. Italy: -$5.4 billion (Up 351.2%)
  10. Chile: -$4.6 billion (Down -8.4%)

Japan’s country-specific deficits increased with three top trade partners namely China, Italy and Malaysia.




 

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

Research Sources:
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on February 2, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on February 2, 2018

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

Wikipedia, Economy of Japan. Accessed on February 2, 2018