Japan sets record 2013 trade deficit as energy import costs surge

27 January 2014 03:19  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s trade deficit soared 65.3% to a record yen (Y) 11,474bn ($112bn) in 2013 as costs of energy imports surged with the depreciation of the yen, official data showed on Monday.

Imports last year increased by 15% to Y81,262bn, against the 9.5% growth in exports to Y69,788bn, according to provisional figures by the Ministry of Finance.

Japan’s trade deficit in 2013 marks the biggest shortfall since comparable data began in 1979, according to the ministry.

“The improvement in export volumes has remained slow over the past one year, despite the fall in export prices as a result of yen depreciation,” Singapore-based DBS Group Research said.

“On the other hand, import demand has remained rigid despite the rise in the yen-denominated import prices,” it added.

($1 = Y102.41)

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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