WTO: 2010 PRESS RELEASES

PRESS/604

  

In comparison with the last quarter of 2009 (“quarter on quarter”), the figures show a slight decrease 1.

Technically, these data refer to “current” US dollars, ie, they are not adjusted for inflation. Therefore,  they cannot be compared with the annual trade growth figures headlined in the 26 March 2010 press release. These headline figure use “constant” dollars, with inflation taken into account.

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

Available monthly statistics for about 70 economies representing about 90% of world trade show that merchandise trade declined in January and February 2010, then rose sharply in March.

Chart 2: Monthly merchandise trade, aggregate of 70 economies
Indices, January 2008=100

 

Overview of regional trade flows

Fuelled by Asia’s demand and commodity prices, exports of Africa, the Middle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States were more than 50% higher than in the corresponding period of 2009.

Table 1: World merchandise trade by region and selected economies, Jan-Mar, 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

27

-3

World (a)

24

-2

23

1

North America

22

-1

20

1

  United States

21

-2

24

4

  Canada

22

1

28

-1

South and Central America

19

-1

26

-5

  Brazil

36

4

18

-5

Europe

16

-3

18

-5

  European Union (27) (b)

16

-3

16

-4

    intra EU

16

-4

22

-7

    extra EU

16

-1

54

-6

Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

13

-24

62

-3

  Russian Federation

18

-25

53

2

Africa and the Middle East

9

-7

34

-4

Asia (a)

45

1

29

-11

  China

65

3

33

13

  India

55

3

48

1

  Japan

23

2

39

0

  Six East Asian traders (c)

48

4

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, Taipei, Chinese, and Thailand.

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

Source: IMF

More data are available on the WTO website’s “short-term merchandise trade statistics” page.

 

1.  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.  back to text

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