Trade balance of Japan returns to black

Japan’s trade balance has bounced back to a surplus for the first time in 3 months. The Finance Ministry said on Thursday that the trade surplus in September stood at 139.6 billion yen, or about 1.2 billion dollars.

Exports were down 1.2 percent in yen terms from a year earlier. That’s mainly due to weaker demand for telecommunications equipment. Imports were up 7 percent. A big factor was strong demand for crude oil and liquefied natural gas.

President Trump has been criticizing Japan’s trade surplus with the US. That number was in the black but shrank by 4 percent from a year ago. Japan imported more natural gas from the US.