— See Separate Table For Details Of Individual Forecasts

TOKYO (MNI) – Japan’s trade surplus for November is expected to
have totaled about Y459 billion, up 25.7% from a year earlier, which
would be the third straight month of year-on-year growth, according to
the median forecast of analysts surveyed by Market News International.

The rate of growth in the November surplus is seen well above a
revised 2.6% (preliminary +2.7%) gain in the October surplus, mainly
because exports are expected to have grown 10.2% on year, higher than an
estimated rise in imports of +9.0%.

In October, exports rose 7.8% y/y, below the 8.8% gain in imports
(preliminary +8.7%).

The Ministry of Finance will release the data at 0850 JST on
Wednesday, Dec. 22 (2350 GMT Tuesday).

According to trade data for the first 20 days of November released
by the MOF, exports rose 10.8%% y/y, while imports gained 8.3%. Iron and
steel products, metal processing machinery as well as power generating
machinery pushed up exports for the period, while iron ore, audio visual
equipment and refined oil products boosted imports.

Akira Maekawa, senior economist at Global Futures and Forex, said,
“Exports in November are expected to shown a higher gain than in
October, thanks to a major acceleration in China’s imports from Japan
during the month.”

As for imports, Akiyoshi Takumori, chief economist at Sumitomo
Asset Management, said, “Imported crude oil prices in yen terms were
lower in November than a year before, which appears to have contributed
to a slower pace of November import growth.”

The index of real, seasonally adjusted exports fell for a third
straight month to 117.0 in October (against 100 in the 2005 base year)
after hitting a recent high of 123.8 in July 2010, Bank of Japan data

Real exports hit a recent bottom of 76.5 in February 2009,
following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.

Azusa Kato, economist at BNP Paribas, said, “The recovery in real
exports has paused since around May because the positive impact of
fiscal stimulus has faded, and increases in inventories (to an
appropriate level) have been completed.”

Looking ahead, Yoshimasa Maruyama, economist at Itochu Corp said,
“The slowing in exports is likely to ease off, although their rebound
cannot be expected for the time being.”

** Market News International Tokyo Newsroom: 81-3-5403-4838 **

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