Japan April exports rise 3.8% year on year: MOF

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese exports rose 3.8 per cent in April from a year earlier, marking a second straight month of gains, Ministry of Finance (MOF) data showed on Wednesday, in a sign that a weaker yen and a pickup in global demand are helping the export-reliant economy.

The MOF data also showed that Japan logged a trade deficit in April for a 10th straight month, with higher import costs offsetting export gains due to the weak yen.

The rise in exports compared with a median forecast for a 5.9 per cent rise in a Reuters poll of economists, and followed a 1.1 per cent rise in March.

Imports rose 9.4 per cent in the year to April, up for a sixth straight month, and compared with 6.7 per cent gain expected by economists.

That brought the trade balance into a deficit of 879.9 billion yen (S$10.8 billion), compared with economists' forecast for a 621.1 billion yen deficit.

Exports to the United States and China, the two biggest markets for Japanese shipments, rose 14.8 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively, in the year to April.