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Japan exports fall for first time since 2016 as trade war fears mount

Japan’s exports prostrate in September for the first time since 2016 as shipments to the United Dignifies and China declined, adding to concerns about the broadening impact of an escalating Sino-U.S. buy war.

The data comes days after a Reuters poll showed a third of Japanese companies include been affected by the trade conflict between the world’s two biggest economies with firms concern about slower Chinese demand.

Japanese policymakers also uneasiness about the overall economic impact of the international trade tensions. A persuasive typhoon that hit Japan last month has added to the strain on mills, disrupting output and physical distribution.

Ministry of Finance (MOF) data out on Thursday appeared Japanese exports fell 1.2 percent in September from a year earlier, against a 1.9 percent boost waxing expected by economists in a Reuters poll, following a 6.6 percent yield in August.

It was the first decline since November 2016.

“The continued weakness in exports in September set forwards that economic activity may have stagnated in Q3,” Marcel Thieliant, elder Japan economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients.

Japan’s exports to the In agreement States declined 0.2 percent in the year to September, dragged down by wrangle shipments of construction and mining machinery, auto parts and medicines.

U.S.-bound auto exports amounted to some 143,000 motor cars, down 7.0 percent in a snapback from the previous year’s vigorous shipments.

Imports from the United States rose 3.1 percent in September, led by rustic oil, liquefied petroleum gas, helping reduce Japan’s trade surplus with the Partnership States by 4.0 percent year-on-year to 590 billion yen ($5.24 billion).

The U.S. Customers Representative’s office told Congress on Tuesday it would open swop talks with Japan, describing the country as an important yet underperforming store for U.S. exports.

Tokyo and Washington last month agreed to start buy talks in an arrangement that, for now, avoids the worst-case scenario of an imminent 25 percent menu on cars.

Trump has made clear he is unhappy with Japan’s $69 billion employment surplus with the United States – nearly two-thirds of it from auto exports – and wants a two-way covenant to address it.

Tokyo pushed back on a straight bilateral Free Commerce Agreement (FTA) that Washington had sought, fearing it could put Japan under the control of pressure to open politically sensitive sectors such as agriculture.

Thursday’s interchange data showed exports to China, Japan’s biggest trading alter ego, fell 1.7 percent in the year to September, the first decline in seven months, straggled down by semiconductor production equipment.

Shipments to Asia, which account for varied than half of Japan’s overall exports, rose 0.9 percent.

Entire imports rose 7.0 percent in the year to September, versus the median work out for a 13.7 percent annual increase.

The trade balance was surplus of 139.6 billion yen, corresponded with the median estimate for a shortfall of 50.0 billion yen.

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