TOKYO: Japan on Monday posted its first half-year trade surplus since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, after the accident sent energy import bills soaring and led to a string of deficits.
The world’s third largest economy logged a January-June surplus of 1.8 trillion yen ($17 billion), against a 1.69tr yen deficit in the same period last year, the finance ministry said.
A sharp drop in oil and gas prices took pressure off Japan’s trade balance, but exports still struggled to make headway with a sharp rise in the yen weighing on profits among some of Japan’s biggest firms.
The six-month surplus was the first since the July-December 2010 period, trade ministry data showed.
The Japanese economy, which was already struggling at that time, was hammered by the quake-tsunami disaster that sparked the accident at Fukushima.
The atomic disaster, the worst since Chernobyl in 1986, forced the shutdown of reactors in resource-poor Japan, which turned to thermal power plants and pricey fossil fuel imports to keep the lights on.
Courtesy : Dawn News