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Japan’s Dec exports, imports hit record high by value as supply bottlenecks ease

TOKYO :Japan’s exports and imports in December hit record highs when it comes to their value in yen, information confirmed on Thursday, as supply bottlenecks eased on the finish of 2021 amid rising costs.

However, a persistent semiconductor scarcity stays a headache for Japanese corporations such as automaker Toyota, which slashed its near-term output goal this week, along with uncertainties across the Omicron variant.

Exports jumped 17.5per cent from a yr earlier, Ministry of Finance information confirmed, outstripping a 16.0per cent acquire anticipated by economists in a Reuters ballot however under a 20.5per cent rise in November.

Yen-denominated exports and imports hit data of seven,881.4 billion yen ($69 billion) and eight,463.8 billion yen, respectively, greatest since comparable information grew to become out there in January 1979, largely as rising inflation affected each flows.

Steel exports rose 75.1per cent year-on-year by value, however the acquire in export quantity was 10.2per cent, suggesting hovering commodity costs pushed up values of made-in-Japan items offered abroad.

Exports to China, Japan’s greatest commerce accomplice, grew 10.8per cent in December from a yr earlier.

Shipments to the United States rose 22.1per cent, with automotive exports marking their first year-on-year rise in 5 months at 11.9per cent.

Imports surged 41.1per cent on increased uncooked materials prices and a weak yen, in contrast with expectations of an increase of 42.8per cent and progress of 43.8per cent in November.

The led to a commerce deficit of 582.4 billion yen ($5.09 billion) in December, versus expectations of 784.1 billion yen.

For the complete yr 2021, Japan reported a commerce deficit of 1,472.2 billion yen, the primary in two years and following a 388.3 billion surplus in 2020, amid increased gas import prices.

Japan’s economic system is anticipated to have grown by an annualised 6.5per cent within the final quarter of 2021 due to a powerful rebound in home consumption, in keeping with a Reuters ballot.

But policymakers have been cautious of dangers from the quickly spreading Omicron variant, as Japan recorded its largest each day COVID-19 infections on Tuesday.

($1 = 114.2100 yen)

(Reporting by Kantaro Komiya; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Himani Sarkar)

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