Japan records highest jump in exports in over a decade

Japan posted a record rise in its exports in April 2021, according to latest government data released on Thursday

Exports last month were up 38% from a year ago, the largest increase in over a decade, Kyodo News reported.

This was the second straight month of expanding exports, following a 16.1% jump in March, indicating increased economic activity after the slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japan exported goods worth $66 billion in April to post “the fastest pace of increase since a 40.4% jump in April 2010 when the world economy was rebounding from the global financial crisis,” the Finance Ministry said.

The data showed Japan’s exports fell 21.9% in April 2020.

The ministry said this April’s exports figure “was larger than the pre-pandemic figure of 6.66 trillion yen logged in April 2019.”

The US and China were the top two markets for Japanese exports, with the latter importing semiconductor producing equipment and shipments of car and auto parts surging to the former.

Exports to the US jumped 45.1% for the second successive month of increase as automobile shipments more than doubled, according to the Kyodo report.

Exports to China, Japan’s largest trading partner, grew 33.9%, the second-highest leap since comparable data became available in January 1979.

Market consumption in Japan also surged as imports rose 12.8% in April, the third straight month of increase.

Japan saw a constant decline in exports for a record 24 consecutive months until last November, but there was a slight recovery in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The economy shrank by 4.8% last year, its first contraction since 2009.

Japan continues to see new coronavirus cases amid an ongoing nationwide vaccination campaign.

Its overall count stood at 692,702 as of Wednesday night, including 11,851 deaths, according to official figures.

Japan has administered nearly 6 million vaccine doses to healthcare professionals and another 1.57 million doses to its elderly population.

Source: Anadolu Agency