Japan's May exports log sharpest rise in 41 years on pandemic recovery

Exports of both cars and auto parts more than doubled from a year earlier in May, with demand for the auto-related Japanese products particularly strong in the United States. | BLOOMBERG

TOKYO, June 16 (Japan Times/ANN) - Japan’s exports in May jumped 49.6% from a year ago to post the sharpest rise in over four decades, with their rebound from a coronavirus pandemic-induced downturn driven by solid demand for cars and auto parts, government data showed Wednesday.

Exports of goods surged to ¥6.26 trillion ($57 billion) in the reporting month, increasing at the fastest pace since a record 51.4% leap was logged in April 1980, according to the preliminary data released by the Finance Ministry, which began compiling the statistics in January 1979.

After expanding 16.1% in March and 38.0% in April, exports grew for the third consecutive month, partly in reaction to a 28.3% year-on-year fall seen in May last year due to the initial shock of the pandemic that pushed down global demand and disrupted supply chains.

Exports of both cars and auto parts more than doubled, up 135.5% and 139.1% from a year earlier, respectively. Demand for the auto-related Japanese products was strong especially from the United States, a ministry official told reporters.

Imports also saw a remarkable rise of 27.9% to ¥6.45 trillion, up for the fourth straight month following a 12.8% boost in April, due to a recovery of domestic consumption and rebound in crude oil prices.

The country’s goods trade balance with the rest of the world came to a deficit of ¥187.15 billion, the first red ink in four months.

All figures were compiled on a customs-cleared basis.

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