TOKYO – Japan's exports fell for the first time in almost two years, when a continuing US-China trade war, coupled with signs of global economic slowdown, weighed on demand for Japanese cars, telecommunications equipment and dredgers.  Japan's exports fell 1.2% year-on-year in September, Japanese ministry of finance announced Thursday. The decline was reflected in Japan's trade surplus, which declined 79% year-over-year to 139.9 billion yen (1.24 billion US $), despite market expectations for a deficit of 53 billion yen in a Nikkei survey The first time in seven months, when demand for semiconductors and mobile phone parts fell. US President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs on Chinese products worth $ 250 billion and accused China of stealing technology.
Japan's exports have been impacted by natural catastrophes, including the closure of a Kansai International Airport, due to damage to production sites and logistics networks. Representatives of the Ministry of Finance said. They said they could not isolate the effects of the trade war between the two largest economies in the world ̵
Continuing export weaknesses suggest that economic activity has developed stagnated, according to Capital Economics' top Japanese economist Marcel Thieliant, noting that the decline in total export volumes had been the sharpest decline since January 2016.
Imports rose 7% yoy due to a rise in crude oil prices and an increase in oil imports from Saudi Arabia and Liquefied Natural Gas from Australia.
Japan's monthly trade surplus vis-à-vis the US declined by 4% year-on-year to Y 590 billion. President Trump was also critical of the high Japanese trade surplus with the US.
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