Japan sees largest trade surplus since 2010 on back of strong Chinese exports


TOKYO — Japan logged its biggest monthly trade surplus since 2010 in February, as exports to China surged by 28 percent from a year earlier.

Preliminary customs data released Wednesday show overall exports rose 11 percent to 6.35 trillion yen (US$56 billion) and imports edged up 1 percent to 5.5 trillion yen (US$49 billion). The resulting trade surplus of 813.4 billion yen (US$7.3 billion) for the month was more than double that of a year earlier.

Weaker oil prices and a stronger yen also reduced costs for imported gas and oil needed to fuel the economy, analysts said.

“The upshot is that net trade should have continued to support growth this quarter,” Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said.

The month’s biggest year-on-year gains were in exports of machinery and electronic components, likely reflecting improved manufacturing in China.