— Add Details, Economist Comments From 7th Paragraph
— Japan Aug 1st 20-Day Exports -12.9% Y/Y Vs July -8.1%
— Japan Aug 1st 20-Day Imports -10.1% Y/Y Vs July +2.1%
— Japan Aug 1st 20-Day Trade Deficit Y566.8 Bln

TOKYO (MNI) – Amid the global slowdown, Japan’s exports slumped in
the first 20 days of August from a year earlier, when shipments were
recovering from the supply chain breakdown caused by the March
earthquake disaster, data released by the Ministry of Finance showed on

Exports in the first 20 days of last month came to Y3.00 trillion,
down 12.9% from a year before, when the year-on-year slump in shipments
of cars and electronics was easing from the previous month.

The latest decline followed a 8.1% fall in exports in the whole of
July this year.

Imports fell 10.1% y/y to Y3.57 trillion in the first 20 days of
August following a 2.1% rise in the previous month.

As a result, Japan’s trade balance for the first 20 days of August
posted a deficit of Y566.78 billion, compared with a deficit of Y522.08
billion in the first 20 days of August 2011.

In August 2011, Japan posted its first trade deficit in three
months as soaring energy import costs offset a rebound in auto exports.

In the first 20 days of August, the fall in exports was led by
ships, automobiles and steel products while the decrease in imports was
led by crude oil, non-ferrous metals and iron ore, according to the MOF.

Norio Miyagawa, senior economist at Mizuho Securities Research &
Consulting, said the year-on-year drop in exports reflects the global
economic slowdown.

He forecast that the August trade balance, due on Sept. 20, will
show a deficit worth Y800 billion to Y900 billion, larger than a deficit
of Y518.89 billion in July.

Miyagawa said exports will continue falling from year-earlier
levels for now amid slowing global demand, and that Japan will mark a
trade deficit this year and next.

** MNI Tokyo Newsroom: 81-3-6860-4820 **

[TOPICS: M$J$$$,M$A$$$,MAJDS$]