Tokyo: Japan’s imports in November surged 43.8 per cent in value due to higher crude oil costs and the yen’s weakness, logging the highest value since comparable data became available in January 1979, government data revealed on Thursday.
According to a preliminary report from the Finance Ministry, imports of goods rose to 8.32 trillion yen ($72 billion), while exports rose 20.5 per cent to 7.37 trillion yen, resulting in a goods trade deficit of 954.8 billion yen, the largest trade deficit of Japan since January 2020, reports Xinhua news agency.
The trade balance marked red ink for the fourth month in a row with imports rising for the 10th consecutive month on growing prices of crude oil from producers such as the United Arab Emirates.
Exports also logged the ninth consecutive monthly increase with rising iron and steel product demand from South Korea and semiconductor-making equipment from China.
Japan’s car exports rose 4.1 per cent, up for the first time in three months.
The Japanese yen against the US dollar weakened 8.9 per cent year-on-year in the reporting month, also inflating import prices for the country.
Japanese automakers have been forced to cut output since around summer following parts shortages caused by factory shutdowns in Southeast Asian countries due to the Covid-19 surges and the worldwide semiconductor crunch.