Japan reports biggest trade surplus since 2011

Tokyo, March 17 (IANS) Japan reported a trade surplus of 242.8 billion yen ($2.2 billion), marking its biggest trade surplus since September 2011, the government announced Thursday.

The surplus compares with a deficit of 426 billion yen ($3 billion) in February 2015 and a deficit of 648.7 billion yen ($5.75 billion) in January 2016, EFE news reported.

Japan’s exports in February fell 4 percent from a year earlier to 5.7 trillion yen ($50 billion) while imports dropped 14.2 percent to 5.46 trillion yen ($48 billion), according to data released by the finance ministry.

The closures of most nuclear power plants following the Fukushima accident in 2011 have pushed Japan from surpluses into deficits since the imports of oil and gas to generate electricity in power plants has put a heavy burden on the Japanese trade balance.

Japan’s deficit with China, its biggest commercial partner, fell by 50.5 percent, to 382.4 billion yen ($3 billion).

With the world’s largest economy and its second biggest trading partner, the US, Japan posted a trade surplus of 604 billion yen ($5 billion), up 4.3 percent from year-on-year.

As for trade with the European Union, Japan recorded a deficit of 33 billion yen (2$296 million).

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