Japan posts first trade deficit in 26 years

September 25th, 2008 - 12:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, Sep 25 (Xinhua) Japan posted a 324 billion-yen ($3.06 billion) trade deficit in August due to rising imports for the first time in 26 years, the finance ministry said Thursday. The deficit is mainly due to a lacklustre global economic performance and soaring prices of crude oil.

Exports increased 0.3 percent to 7,055.9 billion yen for the second consecutive month of rise, while imports grew 17.3 percent to 7,379.9 billion yen, up for the 11th straight month, according to the ministry.

Crude oil imports increased 64.3 percent and those of coal surged 121.2 percent.

The trade surplus with Japan’s largest trading partner, the United States, fell 48.2 percent to 371.1 billion yen.

The trade surplus with the European Union went up 6.2 percent to 332.7 billion yen for the second straight month of increase.

Japan posted a trade surplus of 10.8 billion yen with the Chinese mainland. Exports to China, excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, rose 8.8 percent to 1,223.4 billion yen for the 39th straight month of increase, while imports fell 4.8 percent to 1, 212.7 billion yen.

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