Exports from China and Japan stand out globally

China’s merchandise exports recovered in October (5.4%, after contracting 3.2% in September).

According to the OECD, exports of textiles (including masks and other personal protective equipment), integrated circuits, and computers and spare parts continued to increase significantly.

However, Chinese merchandise imports decreased 1.0% in October, following a 6.6% increase in September.

In the area of ​​services, Chinese exports rebounded (to 12.0% in September), after contracting 6.7% in August.

Imports also expanded significantly (14.2 percent).

Aside from travel, trade in all service sectors in September exceeded 2019 levels, with exports of transportation services nearly 30% above last year’s monthly average.

Japan Exports

Driven by Chinese demand, Japan’s merchandise external sales (4.9% in September) continued to expand, and imports also increased (2.9%).

Likewise, trade in services rebounded strongly in September, with an increase in exports and imports of 16.6 and 11.1%, respectively.

While all sectors expanded (including travel, 12.5 and 10.1 for exports and imports, respectively), IT and IP-related services posted particularly high growth.

Regional exchange

In global terms, the OECD also indicated that international merchandise trade continued to expand in September, although at a slower pace than that registered in August, with levels remaining around 10% below the 2019 averages.

Meanwhile, trade in services continued to grow in most economies but, with the exception of China and Japan, which experienced strong growth in September, remained moderate.

Data on merchandise trade for October point to continued fragility in international trade.

Pacific Asia

Following strong merchandise trade figures in September (exports and imports increased 12.8% and 7.0%, respectively), Korean foreign sales and imports contracted 8.2 and 3.6% in October.

Foreign demand for home appliances, electronics and biological health products (especially Covid-19 diagnostic kits) remained high, but a slowdown in mobile phones and ships reduced external sales overall.

Korea’s service imports recovered strongly in September (10.8% higher, following a 5.2% contraction in August), driven by IT and business services and travel (3.0% higher, following an 11.6% increase in August ).

Exports increased only marginally in September (0.8%), as strong growth in business services (13.7%) was offset by declining sales in other sectors (construction, of which Korea is the world leader, recorded a drop of 15.9 percent).

Merchandise export growth accelerated in Australia (5.3% in September vs. 1.9% in August), supported by metal and mineral ores.

Imports, however, contracted 8.2%, registering falls in most products.

External sales of services grew 2.8% in September, and travel began to recover (4.9% more) after the sharp falls in July and August. Imports of services decreased 1.1 percent.