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News - Editor, 26 August 2011

Japan-China Import/Export Trade



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Japan's total trade with China increased to US$163.2 billion in the first six months of 2011, representing a growth of 17.9 percent measured year-on-year and setting a record for first half year performance. This half year achievement comes hot on the heels of the record set in the second half of 2010 where Japan's imports from China climbed to US$ 84.9 billion, being an increase of 21.4 percent, while Japan's exports to China rose to US$ 78.2 billion, being an increase of 14.3 percent. These statistics were provided by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in a report released on August 16.

The report also noted that the disastrous earthquake in Japan on March 11 had a huge impact on the country's export business, this being the reason that imports from China were higher than exports to China. Moreover, with China becoming a force to be reckoned with in international markets, the demand in Japan for finished goods, components, materials and parts from China continues to rise. High demand imports from China to Japan in the first six months of this year included telecommunication equipment, power generators, batteries, electric fans and foodstuffs.

The outlook for China-Japan trade for the balance of 2011 takes a number of issues into account. It is expected that the growth rate of exports from Japan to China will decrease, primarily due to the Japanese earthquake and the tight monetary measures implemented by China’s authorities to discourage imports and encourage Chinese consumer demand for domestic goods. Analysts anticipate that Japan's imports from China will continue to grow at much the same rate experienced in the first half of 2011.

Export products affected by supply-chain disruptions due to the Japanese earthquake include automobiles, electronic components and semi-conductors. Moreover, Chinese authorities put a stop to importing of foodstuffs from Japan due to radiation concerns. Although China has had its share of criticism regarding food safety, Japan has increased imports of foodstuffs from China in response to a growing demand. Other Chinese products for which there is a great demand are rare-earth minerals, clothing and accessories, and smart phones. As imports from China continue to outweigh exports to that country, Japan's trade deficit is set to increase on a year-on-year basis.

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