Japanese exports fell 2.2 percent year-on-year in March Japanese exports fell 2.2 percent year-on-year in March as the economy felt the impact of the earthquake-tsunami disaster, the government said Wednesday. It was the first monthly decline in 16 months as the March 11 catastrophe
affected production of vehicles and other products, the finance ministry said in a preliminary report. March exports totaled 5,899 billion yen ($71.2 billion), down 2.2 percent from the same month last year and the March trade surplus fell nearly 79 percent to 196.5 billion yen ($2.4 billion), the ministry said. February exports were up 9 percent to 5.589 trillion ($67.8 billion).
Analysts told Kyodo News exports may recover before summer with reconstruction work. However, the analysts said exports may again decline in the July-September quarter owing to power shortages resulting from the crisis at the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The BBC reported Japan\'s March car exports fell 28 percent year-on-year and semiconductor shipments were down 6.9 percent. Japanese exports to China were up 3.8 percent in March but shipments to the United States declined 3.4 percent, China\'s state-run Xinhua news agncy reported.
The economic damage to Japan from the March 11 disaster is estimated at $300 billion, the world\'s costliest natural disaster.