Japan exports seen falling in October – first time since August 2014

Workers load containers onto trucks from a cargo ship at a port in Tokyo
Workers load containers onto trucks from a cargo ship at a port in Tokyo, Japan, October 20, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

November 13, 2015

By Kaori Kaneko

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s exports are expected to fall for the first time in more than a year in October, dragged down by weak demand from Asian nations, a Reuters poll found.

The poll of 22 analysts found exports were expected to slip 2.1 percent in October from a year ago, which would be the first fall since August 2014.

Imports were expected to fall 8.6 percent last month from a year earlier, down for the 10th straight month, on price falls in energy and related products.

Even including the drop in imports, a trade deficit of 292 billion yen ($2.4 billion) is expected, which would be the seventh straight monthly shortfall.

“Japan’s exports probably crawled this year due to sluggish demand from China and other Asian nations,” said Yoshiki Shinke, chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute.

“But I expect exports will pick up from early next year as an inventory adjustment overseas will probably progress, and China’s economy is also likely to recover – helped by policy steps.”

The finance ministry will issue the trade data at 8:50 a.m. on Nov. 19. (2350 GMT Nov. 18)

GDP data due on Monday may show the economy slipped into a technical two-quarter recession in the third quarter on weak capital spending, soft external demand and slow private spending, a separate poll found.

Monday’s GDP data could be central to setting the size of the supplementary budget the government is expected to compile to shore up the economy.

In October, the Bank of Japan held off on expanding stimulus but cut its inflation forecasts and pushed back by six months the timing for hitting its price target.

($1 = 122.5600 yen)

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Eric Meijer)