The World Is Trading Again

Here’s more evidence that the sudden halt to world commerce that occurred earlier this year was temporary and is now improving. Japanese exports (which at one point were so low that the mercantilist country was a net importer) are starting to rebound a little. Or at least the pace of declines wasn’t so bad.

Dow Jones: Exports fell 39.1% on year, dropping less precipitously than March’s 45.6% decline and down from a record 49% slide in February, led by stronger shipments of semiconductors, electronics and autos, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday.

The improvement in exports for the second straight month lends support to the view that the key export segment has already bottomed out, as overseas markets slowly begin demanding more Japanese products and manufacturers here dial up production while completing the process of clearing their shelves.

“I think we can say the brakes have, to an extent, been put on the declining trend (in exports) we’ve seen since last fall,” said Naoyuki Miyazawa, a ministry director in charge of trade statistics. “The decline in exports to all areas has moderated.”

Before you get too excited about what this means for us over here, a lot of the improvement actually came from exports to China, which went from a y-o-y decline of 45% to 25%. The fall in shipments to the US improved modestly.

As for China itself, exports from Hong Kong are also improving from their lows earlier this year, leading to a big spike (4%) in the Hong Kong market last night. (via PragCap)

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