China Overtakes US as Top Market for Japan Goods

Exports to US from Japan fall for 11th consecutive month
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Aug 21, 2008 3:21 PM CDT
Cargo containers are gathered at Ningbo Port in China.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – 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. (Read more Japan stories.)