TOKYO, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Japan's auto exports dropped 40.3 percent in September from the previous year, as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the supply chain in Southeast Asia and a worldwide semiconductor shortage forced domestic automakers to cut production, government data revealed Wednesday.
According to a preliminary report by the Finance Ministry, car shipments logged the first year-on-year decline in seven months and the largest drop since a dive of 49.9 percent in June last year during the initial shock of the pandemic, and may hinder the country's economic recovery.
The tumble in car exports led to a slowdown in rise of Japan's overall goods exports in the reporting month. The total shipments in September saw a 13.0 percent increase from the previous year and stood at 6.84 trillion yen (60 billion U.S. dollars), compared with gains of 26.2 percent in August and 37.0 percent in July.
Imports rose 38.6 percent to 7.46 trillion yen (65.2 billion dollars), up for the eighth straight month, mainly triggered by surging prices of crude oil purchased from producer countries.
As a result, Japan's trade balance showed a deficit of 622.76 billion yen (5.4 billion dollars), turning into red ink from a surplus of 667.36 billion yen (5.8 billion dollars) a year ago for the second consecutive month.
In the first half of fiscal 2021 from April, Japan's merchandise trade posted a deficit of 389.79 billion yen (3.4 billion dollars), the first loss since the first half of fiscal 2020.
Exports soared 34.2 percent year-on-year to 41.46 trillion yen (362.2 billion dollars), and imports jumped 30.3 percent to 41.85 trillion yen (365.6 billion dollars). Enditem