WTO: 2011 NEWS ITEMS

SHORT-TERM MERCHANDISE TRADE STATISTICS

  

These short-term “value” figures should not be confused with the annual trade growth figures, which are “volume” data using “constant dollars” with inflation taken into account.

Over the year 2010, merchandise exports increased by 22% in value. A more comprehensive analysis of the annual picture with statistics in volume terms, the latest trends and a forecast for the coming year will be released in early April.

Moreover, WTO short-term merchandise trade values are not seasonally adjusted. Seasonal patterns therefore considerably affect the quarter on quarter (Q-o-Q) and month on month (M-o-M) developments in world trade, and this in turn affects comparisons between the trade developments in individual regions and economies.

  

Chart 1: World merchandise exports, first quarter 2007 to fourth quarter 2010
Indices, first quarter 2005=100

Available monthly statistics for about 70 economies representing more than 90% of world trade show that merchandise trade decreased in December 2010, reflecting in good part seasonal variations. Nonetheless, this year-end value is above the comparable pre-crisis level of December 2008.

 

Chart 2: Monthly merchandise trade 2008-2010, aggregate of 70 economies a
Trillion dollars

a Imports are valued cif (cost, insurance and freight included) while exports are fob (free on board).

 

Overview of regional trade flows

Comparing the fourth quarter of 2010 with the same period in 2009, the region with the largest growth rate was South and Central America with exports growing by 25% and imports by 30%.

Asian exports rose by about 23% and imports by around 22% on a “year-on-year” basis.


Table 1: World merchandise trade by region and selected economies, October-December 2010
Percentage change in current US dollars, year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter

Exports

 

Imports

Y-o-Y

Q-o-Q

 

Y-o-Y

Q-o-Q

17

9

World (a)

17

7

18

9

North America

16

1

18

9

 United States

16

0

17

10

 Canada

15

2

25

4

South and Central America

30

1

38

2

 Brazil

34

-3

10

12

Europe

12

12

10

12

 European Union (27) (b)

11

11

7

13

   intra EU

7

13

14

10

   extra EU

18

9

17

14

Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

23

13

18

15

 Russian Federation

26

11

21

16

Africa and the Middle East

13

8

23

5

Asia (a)

22

5

25

3

 China

30

4

28

16

 India

2

2

19

5

 Japan

21

5

21

6

 Six East Asian traders (c)

22

5

a Includes significant re-exports or imports for re-exports.
b “Intra EU” is trade within the EU; “extra EU” is trade between the EU and non-EU economies
c Hong Kong, China (excluding re-export trade), Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, and Thailand

  

Chart 3: Commodity price developments, fourth quarter 2010
Percentage change

Source: IMF

RSS news feeds

> Problems viewing this page?
Please contact webmaster@wto.org giving details of the operating system and web browser you are using.