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Japan’s exports fall for fifth month amid US-Sino trade disputes

Japan’s exports fall for fifth month amid US-Sino trade disputes

Mubasher: Japanese exports extended their decline for the fifth consecutive month in April as the escalation in the trade tensions between the US and China, its biggest two trade allies, subdued the country’s dynamo of growth.

The world’s third biggest largest economy saw its exports last April dropping by 2.4% year-on-year, the Ministry of Finance data showed on Wednesday.

The drop in exports was mainly ascribed to a 41% plunge in China-bound shipments of chip-making tools and semiconductor components. Exports to China dipped by 6.3%.

Along with a climb in crude oil imports, Japan’s trade surplus shrank by 90% to 60.4 billion Japanese yen (JPY) ($547 million).

Exports to the US jumped by 9.6% in April, indicating a resilient demand in the world’s biggest economy.

Trade surplus with the US surged by 18% year-on-year in April, data showed ahead of an expected visit by US President Donald Trump to Tokyo, during which trade issues will be discussed.

On a side note, Japanese machinery orders, a major bellwether of capital spending in coming months, posted a second monthly gain, by rising by 3.8% in April.