Japanese exports decline further on virus-beaten demand

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Japanese exports had seen another double-digit decline, recording six months of continuous contraction in August. This was mainly from a coronavirus-driven slump monitored in U.S.-bound shipments, raising a dim outlook over a trade-led rebound.

After recording a 19.2% decline in July, total exports dropped 14.8% year-on-year in August. The figure came milder than the 16.1% drop expected by economists in a Reuters survey, official data showed on Wednesday.

U.S.-bound shipments were seen 5.1% lower in August as engine parts and construction machinery demand fell. Meanwhile, China-bound shipments advanced 5.1% year-on-year as shipments in semiconductors increased.

Overall imports declined 20.8%, placing higher than the median outlook for an 18.0% contraction. The decline drove the trade balance up to 248.3 billion yen, surpassing the median estimate for a 37.5 billion yen setback.

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