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Japan’s Merchandise Trade Balance Total for January fell by less than expected, printing at ¥-1.75 trillion after an unexpected upswing in Japanese Exports, which rose to a 14-month high of 11.9% YoY versus the forecast decline to 9.5% from the previous period’s 9.7% (revised from 9.8%).

Japanese Imports for the same period also declined more than expected, keeping Japan’s overall trade balance, coming in at -9.6% versus the forecast -8.4% against the previous period’s -6.9% (revised from -6.8%).

Despite beating expectations, Japan’s Merchandise Trade Balance Total for the year ended in January beat the forecast ¥-1.92 trillion, but is still well back from the previous period’s ¥68.9 billion surplus (revised even higher from ¥62.1 billion), and is the worst print for the figure since last February’s plunge to ¥-3.5 trillion.

Market reaction

The USD/JPY is holding steady in early Wednesday churn just below the 150.00 handle as the Asian market session comes online.

About Japan’s Merchandise Trade Balance Total

The Merchandise Trade Balance Total released by the Ministry of Finance is a measure of balance amount between import and export. A positive value shows a trade surplus while a negative value shows a trade deficit. Japan is so much dependant on exports that the Japanese economy heavily relies on a trade surplus. Therefore, any variation in the figures influences the domestic economy. If a steady demand in exchange for Japanese exports is seen, that would turn into a positive.


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