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Import and export trends: major economies

Import and export trends for some of the world’s major trading economies best illustrate patterns of trade growth during the third quarter of 2022.

With the exception of the Russian Federation, goods trade of the major economies was well above year-ago levels, highlighted the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

However, quarter-on-quarter rates reveal that these positive trends reversed for most economies in the third quarter of 2022.

Services data are only available with a one-quarter lag.

In Q2 2022, services trade for most major economies was higher than in Q2 2021.

At the same time, quarter-on-quarter growth rates indicate that these positive trends have weakened considerably in Q2 2022.

Export trends

In Q3 2022, the value of world merchandise trade was significantly above Q3 2021 levels for both developing and developed countries.

Trade between developing countries (South-South) was approximately 13% higher than in the same period of 2021.

Likewise, South-South trade, excluding East Asian economies, grew 19 percent.

The decline in Q3 2022 trade relative to Q2 2022 was similar for developed and developing countries.

Excluding East Asian economies, the more significant decline in developing country trade stands out.

Year-on-year growth rates remained strong in all geographic regions except the region comprising the Russian Federation.

On a quarterly basis, trade declined in all geographic regions except East Asia, where it remained at a similar level to Q2 2022, and in the region comprising the Russian Federation, whose imports recovered from the sharp drop in Q2 2022.

Energy

The significant growth in trade over the past year was largely due to an increase in the value of trade in energy products.

Although trade also increased in some sectors (e.g., apparel, chemicals, and road vehicles), the value of trade in Q3 2022 was lower than in Q3 2021 in several sectors, including pharmaceuticals, minerals, communication equipment, and transportation equipment.

Compared to Q2 2022, the value of trade in Q3 2022 was lower in most sectors, but significantly higher in the apparel, communication equipment, and office equipment sectors.

 

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