North American Exports vs. Asia

North American exports will increase at a year-on-year rate of 3.6 percent in volume terms in 2023, according to World Trade Organization (WTO) projections.

In turn, Asia‘s corresponding growth would be 0.6 percent.

Intra-Asia is the largest regional market by shipping volume in the global container industry. The regional market can be divided into three sub-regions, namely Greater China, North Asia and Southeast Asia. The Greater China sea route is the largest of them.

The continuous rise of China‘s economy and China’s increasing trade volume with other ASEAN countries are driving the expansion of the intra-Asian regional market.

Moving forward, the launch of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2022, which allows free trade among member countries, will further boost international trade activities among Asian countries and thus increase the demand for shipping volume within Asia.

The WTO estimates that North America’s export volume will grow 2.7% in 2024, while Asia’s will rise 5.1%, at annual rates. In 2022, the increases were, in that same order, 2.2 and 0.4 percent.

Exports from the Americas

For its part, the United States is China’s largest trading partner, and the bilateral trade relationship between the two powerhouse economies shapes the trans-Pacific shipping route market.

Also measured in volume and using WTO statistics, in the first half of 2023, Asia’s exports were up 14.6% over 2019, while those of North America, South America and Europe were up 3.8%, 3.9% and 2.8%, respectively.

Notably, exports from oil-producing regions grew more slowly (Africa, 1.7%) or declined (Middle East -1.2%, CIS -5.7%).

In terms of value, North America’s product exports were $3.3 trillion in 2022, up 19.3 percent year-on-year, and Asia‘s totaled $10.4 trillion, up 8.7 percent.

According to WTO data, North America accounted for 13.2% of total world merchandise exports, while Asia accounted for 42.6%.


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