Jakarta -Japan’s exports raised in May to the fastest pace in four months, driven by an increase in shipments of cars and spare parts, as well as semiconductor equipment.
The demand for automobiles and spare parts and semiconductor equipment is indicating that global demand is getting stronger.
Exports rose 8.1% in May from the same period last year, as quoted by Reuters on Monday (18/06/2018).
The figure is higher than the median estimate for a predicted annual rise in the range of 7.5%, as some economists in the Reuters poll predicted.
Meanwhile, in April, exports grew an annual 7.8%.
The market predicts in the future, exports will still continue to grow thanks to increased demand for manufacturing equipment, cars, and auto parts.
But Japan’s trade surplus with the United States has made it a potential target for US President Donald Trump’s protectionist policy.
Japan’s exports to the United States rose 5.8% yoy in May, faster than April’s 4.3% positive figure, due to higher shipments of auto parts.
Imports from the United States rose 19.9% yoy, as imports of US aircraft and coal increased.
As a result, Japan’s trade surplus with the United States fell 17.3% yoy to 340.7 billion yen (US $ 3.08 billion) and became the lowest surplus since January 2013.
The decline in trade surplus with the United States is unlikely to free Japan from the White House criticism, when President Donald Trump’s administration raised tariffs to lower the US trade deficit and combat what it said was an unfair trade policy.
Trump encourages the imposition of a large import tariff on products from China worth $ 50 billion.
Instead the China Ministry of Commerce said it would respond at “the same scale and power” rate, which sparked fears of a massive trade war.
Trump has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, affecting Japanese companies, and also criticized Japan for low imports of American vehicles.
“Exports will continue to recover, but I am a bit worried about the pace of growth,” said Shuji Tonouchi, senior market economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities as quoted by Reuters.
He is concerned about trade friction between the United States and China, affecting Japan.
“This is a risk factor for Japan and for global trade. “