China imported $11.8 billion in Japanese goods in July, MarketWatch reports, barely surpassing the US as the world’s largest importer of products and services from Japan for the first time. The 11.5% drop in shipments to the US was the 11th consecutive month of declines; exports to China rose 16.8%, and shipments to Western Europe rose 4.1%
Japan saw its trade surplus shrink more than forecast in July; it was down 86.6% from a year ago, with rising energy and commodities prices to blame. Exports, after slowing for the first time in 5 years in June, rose 8.1% in July. Analysts say the strong yen and a slowing global market will continue to hamstring Japan’s exports.