PRC (including Hong Kong), USA, Germany, and the UAE today account for about 56% of import and 40% of export value. The importance of China as a source of imports and the US as a source of exports has increased. On a commodity level, Indian exports have diversified away from apparel and footwear towards industrial equipment and parts and mobile phones and communication equipment. The import side has seen an increase in the importance of semiconductors and related equipment. Pharmaceutical and automotive exports have grown, but their share of total trade value has stayed constant.
Trade Data Service
China to Europe rail volumes are down over 40% in the first quarter of 2023. This article discusses the different factors behind the continued weakness in intercontinental container trade by rail between China and Europe.
The overall outlook for world trade in 2023 is nothing to get excited about, but it’s not all doom and gloom. Short- and medium-term growth of both exports from and imports into Southeast and South Asia are expected to do well, including to and from Indonesia, India, Turkey, Singapore, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia. The US and China may continue to drag down overall world trade growth, which is expected to be around 1.5-1.7% in 2023 and 3.2% in 2024.
The traditional Euro-North America centric view of the world is outdated. China is no longer the world’s manufacturing subcontractor, but in many ways the driving force behind the world’s economy. Changes in the structure of the Chinese economy towards high value manufacturing and increasing strength in industrial sectors previously dominated by European and North American companies are reflected in trade data. While there is little hard evidence of a pivot away from China, we find that Chinese trade has become successively more Southeast Asia focused since 2012/2013
Trade in integrated circuits is worth almost $1 trillion annually. This includes processers, controllers, memory chips and the like, which form the centrepiece of most things we use or drive. Machinery and related parts, accessories and tools for producing semiconductors are worth another $100 billion per year. The value of semiconductor and machinery trade is higher than it was in 2018, but trade patterns are changing significantly with new production capacity being established around the world and not just in China and the United States.
India is now the world’s most populous country, but the Chinese economy is six times larger. However, with Indian economic and manufacturing growth expected to outperform in the near term there are opportunities for growth increased growth in trade. India could also benefit from a US and European pivot away from China and a friendly investment regime. Exports in 2022 grew by almost 10% and imports by 17%. Particularly the import performance of industrial equipment, parts and supplies is an indicator of future increases in manufacturing output and exports.
Papua New Guinea is the largest economy in the Pacific Islands, accounting for 45 % of the region’s overall economic output, and as much as New Caledonia, Guam, French Polynesia and Fiji combined. Over 90% of exports are linked to energy and mining industries, but imports are more diverse. With a strong link to Australia, the economy is less dependent on Chinese imports than others in the region. Contrary to other islands in the region this has also not changed. However, the status quo should not be taken for granted as we are beginning to identify an emerging shift, with Chinese export value to Papua New Guinea outperforming other major trading partners.
China is by far Australia’s most important trading partner. Dependence on China has increased and not decreased. Australia draws around 30% of its imports from China, up from about 21% in 2013. On the export side, China’s share of the value of Australian exports has fluctuated between 34% to 44% over the last 10 years. Most of that is driven by iron ore exports. This article looks at the trading relationship and mutual dependence between Australia and China.
Dependence entails risk. Reliance on a single supplier or source for imports of a certain raw material or intermediate product makes supply chains vulnerable to disruptions and geopolitical tensions. About 12% of world trade is in product groups where a single country has a share of more than 50% of exports of that product. In about half of all cases, China is the dominant exporter, but not everywhere. This article looks at which countries dominate exports for certain raw materials, intermediate and finished goods.
Uzbekistan is an interesting place and not just because we have a fondness for Plov. With a population of 34.5 million it is the largest country in Central Asia and the Caucasus region and the second largest economy after Kazakhstan. Uzbekistan’s import and export market is also more diverse than other countries in the region, which typically generate two thirds of their import and export value with energy, mining and bulk agricultural commodities. Despite being landlocked, Uzbekistan has grown imports and exports faster than other countries in the region and is expected to continue to do so.