China slump to drive down Japan’s trade volume

The continuing economic slump in China is expected to worsen air cargo volumes in Japan’s international trade figures for 2015. According to Japan’s Nittsu Research Institute and Consulting, this will be the first time in two years that Japan will see its trade volume contract.

Tokyo-based Nittsu, a subsidiary of Japanese freight forwarder Nippon Express Co., revised its estimate for 2015 from a 3.8 percent decline in 2015 to a 5.4 percent drop by the end of fiscal year 2015. China, one of Japan’s largest trading partners, is expected to have a major impact on the outcome. Already, China’s economic slowdown has led to a 2 percent, year-over-year, drop in traffic for Asia-Pacific air carriers in July, and 1 percent y-o-y drop in August.

According to Nittsu, airfreight exports will fall by 6.4 percent, compared to 2014, to a total of 1 million tons, while imports are expected to slide 4.4 percent to 1.1 million tons over the same time period. Previously, Nittsu had forecast a 4.6 percent decline in exports and a 3 percent drop in imports.

In contrast, Japan’s fiscal 2014, Japan’s international trade had expanded by 4.2 percent, year-over-year, with exports rising 15.4, offsetting an import drop of 4.7 percent.

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