Exports to China off 5.7% in half

JIJI

The value of Japan’s exports to China fell 5.7 percent in the January-June period from the year before, the first decline on a first-half basis since 2009, reflecting a slowdown in the Chinese economy, the Japan External Trade Organization said.

Exports to China in the first half of 2012 totaled $73.72 billion, JETRO said in a report released Monday.

The deceleration in China’s economic growth led to weaker demand for general machinery and steel from Japan for use in industrial production.

Japan’s imports from China grew 7.5 percent to $91.34 billion, the highest figure on record on a first-half basis. This was led by smartphones, as well as food, reflecting surging eel prices.

Overall bilateral trade value increased 1.1 percent to $165.06 billion, the highest figure for a first-half period.

Japan’s trade deficit with China jumped 2.6-fold to $17.62 billion, a first-half record.