With the sharp decline in global demand for trade by the US and many countries of Asia especially China prompted by the widespread coronavirus pandemic, Japan’s exports had dropped significantly in nearly four years in March that highlighted the severe impact of the virus outbreak on global business. Japan’s US-bound shipments, including cars and other electronic products, fell substantially at the fastest rate as the virus damage intensified globally on a very large scale.
Japanese Export Declining
The uneasy figure of the Japanese economy on Monday, April 20, 2020, showed that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government had to face challenges dealing with a near collapsing global economy, which had its deepest fall since the Great Depression of the 1930s. With the rise of the virus cases in Japan, the Abe administration had extended a state of emergency last week to include the entire country and ordered people to stay home beside the closing of businesses.
So far, Japan has reported more than 9,000 infections and about 200 deaths from the virus outbreak. With the growing fear that Japan, which is the world’s third-largest economy, could be facing a recession, data of the Ministry of Finance showed Japanese exports fell 11.7% in the year to March, exceeding economists’ projection of a 10.1% decline. The export of the country had a 1% fall in February that marked the biggest decline since July 2016.
Apart from that, Japanese imports dropped 5.0% in the year to March, against the average expectation for a 9.8% decline, after the prior month’s 13.9% drop that brought the country’s trade balance to a surplus of 4.9 billion yen ($45.47 million).
Decline Demand by China and the US
Japanese shipments to Asia, which account for more than half of Japanese exports, had declined 9.4% due to the slump in demand for Japanese products by a key import country, China. By region-wise, China is Japan’s largest trading partner but Japanese exports to China fell 8.7% in the year to March, reflecting a sharp decrease of imported items including car parts, organic compounds, and chip-making machinery.
Meanwhile, China’s economy had dipped for the first time on record in the first quarter as the virus outbreak forced to shut businesses as well as hammered the country’s production. Recently, China has been restarting its economic engines after the government brought the virus outbreak under control.
Moreover, the US has been a key market for Japanese goods such as cars and electronics but Japanese export to the US drastically waned about 16.5% year-on-year in March, which marked the biggest decline since April 2011.
Citing the current trend of the virus impact on the global economy, the International Monetary Fund said last week that the international economy would further drop 3.0% in 2020, a sign of nearly-collapsing economic activities that would mark the deepest slump since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Globally, the pandemic has now infected more than 2.2 million and killed more than 150,000 people.
I’m Roshan, a journalist, blogger and music lover. I like covering global news related to finance, business, and technology. Focusing on the collection of true and reliable information, I rely on working by conducting interviews with business leaders and talking to the inside sources of companies.
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