Japan recorded its worst trade deficit in the six months beginning this January, though the nation saw a goods trade surplus of 61.7 billion yen (about 790 million U.S. dollars) in June, the government data showed Wednesday.
The Finance Ministry said in a report that the nation logged a trade deficit of about 2.9 trillion yen in the first half of 2012. The huge shortfall was due largely to the rising energy costs after the March 11 disasters last year that suspended the reactors at nuclear power plants and led to a power shortage across the nation.
Japan had been fighting to make ends meet in terms of energy by turning to costly alternatives including crude oil and liquified gas. The imports of the two items saw an increase of 16 percent and 50 percent respectively in the six months.
Growing concerns about the outlook of the eurozone debt crisis and a slowdown in China's economic growth had also weighed on the world's third largest economy in the period. According to the ministry, exports to China, Japan's biggest trading partner, contracted 7.3 percent to 1.03 trillion yen, while those to the European Union plummeted 21.3 percent to 519.4 billion yen.
Analysts said the future of the nation's trade balance still looked grim amid the uncertainties in the global economy. However, the reading in June alone showed a bright stretch in the picture with the goods trade surplus topping 61.7 billion yen. The upbeat figure was attributed to the nation's growing exports of vehicles and auto parts.