Japan posted a merchandise trade surplus of 217.381 billion yen in February, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday – down 80.5 percent on year.
That was shy of expectations for a surplus of 420 billion yen following the downwardly revised 325.4 billion yen deficit in January (originally -323.9 billion yen).
Exports dropped 4.5 percent on year to 6.038 trillion yen, also missing forecasts for a decline of 0.8 percent after rising 6.4 percent in the previous month.
Individually, exports to all of Asia eased 0.8 percent on year to 3.343 trillion yen. Exports to China alone jumped an annual 3.4 percent to 1.174 trillion yen.
Exports to the United States tumbled 14.0 percent on year to 1.092 trillion yen, while exports to the European Union sank an annual 3.3 percent to 589.168 billion yen.
Imports jumped an annual 11.8 percent to 5.820 trillion yen versus expectations for an increase of 11.9 percent following the 9.5 percent contraction a month earlier.
Individually, imports from Asia jumped 36.9 percent on year to 2.938 trillion yen. Imports from China alone skyrocketed an annual 114.5 percent to 1.445 trillion yen.
Imports from the United States fell 3.7 percent on year to 619.564 billion yen, while imports from the European Union rose an annual 0.4 percent to 629.378 billion yen.