Nittsu Research Institute and Consulting, Inc. (NRIC) projects that Japan’s exports and imports of loaded oceangoing containers will both turn positive in fiscal 2021 (April 2021-March 2022) in a revision of its business and cargo transport outlook for the current fiscal year that it has unveiled. The think tank foresees that combined exports from the nation’s eight major ports will increase 8.8% to 4.837 million TEUs from the previous fiscal year. Meanwhile, imports will rise 4.8% to 7.398 million TEUs, it anticipates.

In April-June, outbound containers surged more than 20% year on year to all destinations, rebounding from the declines that they suffered in fiscal 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Growth was notable in those to North America in particular, which jumped over 60%. In the second half (October 2021-March 2022), on the other hand, NRIC sees that they will continue to pick up but at much slower paces, as their reactionary improvements have almost ended. As such, the research institute is skeptical that in fiscal 2021, container exports from Japan will even reach their pre-pandemic level in fiscal 2019.

Looking at consumer goods imported in containers in April-June, foodstuffs were sluggish, while garments and furniture both lost momentum. In respect to production goods, in contrast, auto parts and components enlarged more significantly, and machinery remained robust. NRIC envisages that in the second half, container imports to Japan will gain more slowly than in the first half. They will, however, still be underpinned by increases in the procurement of parts and components, it projects.




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