Japan’s trade deficit hits record high in first half of 2022

International Business News  –  The preliminary value of trade statistics for the first half of 2022 (January to June) announced by the Ministry of Finance of Japan on the 21st (subject to customs clearance) shows that the trade balance of exports minus imports is a deficit of 7.9241 trillion yen (approximately RMB 386.7 billion Yuan), setting a new high for the half-year deficit since 1979, which can be compared in terms of calendar years. This is the two consecutive six-month deficits after the second half of 2021. The surge in crude oil prices and the weakening yen against the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis led to an increase in imports.

Imports increased by 37.9% year-on-year to 53.8619 trillion yen, exceeding 50 trillion yen for the first time. Exports also rose 15.2% to 45.9378 trillion yen due to rising raw material and logistics costs. Both hit new highs in half a year.

The main reason for the widening trade deficit is the surge in resource prices. The amount of crude oil imports, centered on crude oil produced in Saudi Arabia, increased approximately twofold. Coal imports from Australia, increased more than threefold.The unit price of crude oil imports in Japanese yen was 75,501 yen per thousand liters, an increase of 34,237 yen over the same period of the previous year, reaching the highest level in history.

The largest trade deficit in the previous half year was 7.6282 trillion yen in the first half of 2014, which was affected by the long-term outage of nuclear power plants after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the surge in imports of fuel for thermal power generation.

At the same time, it was released that the trade balance in June this year was a deficit of 1.3838 trillion yen, a deficit for 11 consecutive months. Imports increased by 46.1% year-on-year to 10.0122 trillion yen, hitting a record high for the fourth consecutive month.