TOKYO – Japan’s exports fell in March, sapped by weak shipments of machinery and chemicals, though a sharper decline in imports helped push the trade surplus to its highest level in more than five years.
Customs data reported Wednesday showed exports fell 6.8 per cent from a year earlier to 6.46 trillion yen ($59.2 billion) while imports sank 14.9 per cent to 5.7 trillion yen ($52.2 billion).
The balance of 754 billion yen ($6.9 billion) was the highest since October 2010.
In value terms, exports of machinery, electrical machinery and chemicals fell at double-digit paces, though car exports surged nearly 16 per cent.
Imports of coal, oil, food and machinery dropped. The change was exaggerated by a recent 10 per cent surge in the yen’s value against the U.S. dollar, to about 109 yen.