Japan posted a merchandise trade surplus of 614.722 billion yen in March, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday - down 17.5 percent on year.
The headline figure topped forecasts for a surplus of 605.6 billion yen following the upwardly revised 813.5 billion yen surplus in February (originally 813.389 billion yen).
Exports climbed 12.0 percent on year to 7.229 trillion yen, beating forecasts for an increase of 6.2 percent following the 11.3 percent jump in the previous month.
Exports to Asia surged 16.3 percent on year to 3.860 trillion yen, while exports to China alone advanced an annual 16.4 percent to 1.299 trillion yen.
Exports to the United States added an annual 3.5 percent to 1.353 trillion yen, and exports to the European Union gained 1.4 percent to 800.932 billion yen.
Imports added an annual 15.8 percent to 6.614 trillion yen versus expectations for a gain of 10.2 percent after adding just 1.2 percent a month earlier.
Imports from Asia were up 10.5 percent on year to 3.217 trillion yen, while imports from China alone advanced 10.3 percent to 1.619 trillion yen.
Imports from the United States climbed 16.3 percent on year to 724.976 billion yen, and imports from the European Union gained 7.1 percent to 732.504 billion yen.
The adjusted trade surplus was 172.2 billion yen, beating forecasts for 172.0 billion yen and down from the downwardly revised 609.0 billion yen surplus in February (originally 680.3 billion yen).
by RTT Staff Writer
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