Japan's exports fell 9.6 percent in August from a year earlier, posting an 11th straight month of decline, Ministry of Finance data showed on Wednesday, underscoring sluggish external demand.
The fall compares with a 4.8 percent decrease expected by economists in a Reuters poll. It followed a 14.0 percent drop in July, the data showed.
Imports fell 17.3 percent in August, versus the median estimate for a 17.8 percent decline.
The trade balance swung to a deficit of 18.7 billion yen ($184 million), versus the median estimate for a 202.3 billion yen surplus. It was a first trade deficit in three months.