Japan's trade surplus in July fell 86.6 percent from a year earlier as imports grew amid higher prices for oil and other commodities, the government said Thursday.
The surplus shrank to 91.1 billion yen (US$830.6 million), marking the fifth straight month of decline, the Finance Ministry said.
Overall imports grew 18.2 percent to 7.54 trillion yen (US$68.7 billion) in July, while exports rose 8.1 percent to 7.63 trillion yen (US69.6 billion), the ministry said.
Japan's politically sensitive trade surplus with the United States fell 19.0 percent, down for the 11th straight month on slower exports of cars, auto parts, machinery and electronics.
The nation's trade surplus with Asia, however, jumped 42.3 percent, rebounded after a fall in June due to stronger exports of mineral fuels and raw materials. The trade surplus with China fell 63.3 percent.