WTO: 2011 NEWS ITEMS

SHORT-TERM MERCHANDISE TRADE STATISTICS

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These short-term “value” figures should not be confused with the annual trade growth figures headlined in the 7 April 2011 press release, which are “volume” data using “constant dollars” with inflation taken into account.

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 2008 to first quarter 2011
Trillion dollars

Available monthly statistics for about 70 economies representing more than 90% of world trade show that merchandise trade rose sharply in March 2011, reflecting in good part seasonal variations. The value of trade reached for the first time a level superior to the pre-crisis maximum of July 2008.

 

Chart 2: Monthly merchandise trade 2008-2011, 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

Table 1: World merchandise trade by region and selected economies, January-March 2011
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

22

2

World (a)

22

2

19

1

North America

19

1

18

1

  United States

19

1

17

3

  Canada

18

3

30

3

South and Central America

27

-2

31

-10

  Brazil

25

-3

18

3

Europe

20

4

19

3

  European Union (27)  (b)

19

4

16

4

     intra EU

16

4

23

1

      extra EU

23

4

28

3

Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

39

-14

24

1

  Russian Federation

41

-16

30

14

Africa and the Middle East

11

-3

25

-2

Asia  (a)

26

4

26

-10

  China

33

5

42

16

  India

17

16

13

-5

  Japan

23

3

25

4

  Six East Asian traders  (c)

23

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, first quarter 2011
Percentage change

Source: IMF

 

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