Japan posts trade deficit in October

Japan's trade balance returned to the red in October as a weak yen made energy imports more expensive.

The Finance Ministry says the trade deficit stood at nearly 663 billion yen, or almost 4.5 billion dollars.
This is Japan's first trade deficit in two months. But its size is down by 70 percent from the same month last year.

Imports shrank by 12.5 percent in yen terms to about 65 billion dollars, as global prices of crude oil and liquefied natural gas fell compared to a year earlier.

But the yen's slide against the dollar lifted the amount in yen terms to its second-highest on record.

Total exports increased by 1.6 percent to just over 60 billion dollars. Automobile shipments to the United States and ship exports to Europe were robust during the period.