TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan posted its biggest half-year trade deficit of 7.9 trillion yen ($57 billion) in the first half of 2022 due to soaring energy prices and the yen’s depreciation, government data showed on Thursday.
The huge deficit came as imports jumped 37.9% from a year earlier to 53.9 trillion yen on the back of surging crude oil and coal prices propelled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the Finance Ministry’s preliminary report.
Exports rose 15.2% to 45.9 trillion yen, also registering a record high for a half-year period since comparable data became available in 1979, the ministry said.
The resource-poor country saw a trade deficit for the second straight half-year period after falling into the red in the second half of 2021.
“By item, imports of crude oil and coal significantly increased in the half-year period, and we believe that was due to rising resource prices,” a ministry official said.
For June alone, Japan logged a trade deficit of 1.4 trillion for the 11th consecutive month of deficit.
Imports climbed 46.1% to 10.0 trillion yen, while exports increased 19.4% from a year earlier to 8.6 trillion yen, both highest for the reporting month.