Prices push value of G20 goods trade to new high in Q1 2022 as growth in services slows

After six quarters of sustained growth, the value of G20 international merchandise trade reached a new high in the first quarter of 2022. Exports and imports increased by 3.6% and 5.8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2021 and measured in current US dollars. This increase was largely driven by rising commodity prices, as the war in Ukraine and COVID-19-related containment measures in East Asia put additional pressure on the prices of traded goods and on already strained supply chains.

Growth in services exports and imports for the G20 is estimated at around 2.0% and 1.1% in the first quarter of 2022, respectively, compared to the previous quarter and measured in current US dollars. Preliminary estimates are well below the 6.2% and 3.1% rates recorded in the fourth quarter of 2021 for exports and imports, reflecting weaker trade in the transport sector in East Asia and a general slowdown services trade in most G20 economies for which data are available. available.

North America’s merchandise export growth slowed in the first quarter of 2022. Following a 7.1% growth in the previous quarter, the United States recorded a 2.4% increase in exports, driven by energy and chemicals (including pharmaceuticals and fertilizers). Imports increased strongly (+9.6%), boosted by computers and their parts, telecommunications equipment as well as clothing and other consumer goods. Canadian exports rose 4.2%, boosted by energy, forestry and record fertilizer (potash) shipments at the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Imports increased moderately (+1.3%), due to the slowdown in purchases in the automotive sector. In Mexico, exports and imports increased by 5.2% and 6.9%, respectively, with energy and vehicles and parts making up the highest exports.

Merchandise exports continued to grow in East Asia, while the structure of imports varied from country to country. With chip shortages weighing on vehicle and parts shipments, total exports rose just 0.8% in Japan, while energy and commodity prices boosted imports (up 7.0%). Electronics, COVID-19 test kits and electric cars continued to fuel Korea’s export growth (up 3.8%), while energy products led to an increase in imports (up 3.8%). increase of 6.1%). Exports from China rose 4.7%, fueled by strong sales of steel and plastic products as well as steady shipments of electronics. On the other hand, Chinese imports stagnated (+0.3%), energy purchases being partially offset by a drop in iron ore imports. India’s exports fell by 0.9% in the first quarter of 2022, while imports increased by 4.6%.

The surge in energy purchases has spurred import growth in most European economies. Exports and imports increased by 3.0% and 5.0% respectively in the European Union. France’s exports increased by 3.2%, driven by aeronautics and ships, while imports increased by 4.3% thanks to chemicals and metals. Exports (+5.5%) and imports (+7.9%) of goods also recovered in Italy, with the strongest growth recorded for exports of intermediate goods. As geopolitical tensions weighed on machinery and chemical shipments, German exports fell 0.1% while imports rose 3.0%. Similarly, UK exports contracted (down 1.6%), but imports jumped (up 18.8%) due to machinery, transport equipment and energy.

G20 trade in services, current prices (USD billion), seasonally adjusted

Visit the OECD Interactive Data to deepen this data OECD Statistics and Data Directorate and national sources. Note: Q1 2022 services trade values ​​are preliminary estimates based on available data, covering around 60% of exports and imports for the G20 aggregate.

Rapidly rising prices boosted the value of merchandise trade for major G20 commodity exporters. Australian exports increased by 7.8% in the first quarter of 2022, due to higher sales of grain, coal and metals. Also driven by cereals, merchandise exports increased by 11.5% in Argentina. Despite a slowdown in metal ores, Brazilian exports jumped 20.2%, driven by mineral fuels and a surge in soybean shipments. Similarly, Indonesia and South Africa recorded robust export growth in the first quarter of 2022 (+6.1% and 7.7%, respectively).

Services trade slowed in North America. Exports and imports rose 2.3% respectively in the United States in the first quarter of 2022, with strength in business services and financial services offsetting weakness in transportation and computer services. Canada’s exports (down 1.3%) fell slightly in all categories, notably travel. Imports increased by 2.3%, with transport and travel recording robust growth (+7.5% and 6.2%).

After several quarters of strong growth, a slowdown in transport has weakened services trade in East Asia. In Japan, exports continued to weaken (-4.4%), due to a decline in transport, IT and business services, and imports increased by 2.3%. Korean exports rose moderately (+1.6%), as strength in business services and transportation was partly offset by lower sales in computer and construction services. Korean imports remained stable. In China, services exports rose 4.1%, the weakest rate in six quarters, while imports rose 3.5%. The lifting of mobility restrictions in Australia has led to an increase in trade in services. Exports increased moderately (+1.5%), while imports soared (+9.5%), driven by transport and travel.

Trade in services has slowed in most European countries. Services exports in Germany and Italy increased by 1.1% and 1.8% respectively, while imports remained stagnant (up 0.4% for Germany and down 0.8% for Italy). ‘Italy). In the United Kingdom, exports of services fell by 1.3% and imports contracted sharply (-11.5%). On the other hand, with travel receipts up by 14.0%, exports of services increased by 4.9% in France, while imports increased by 2.0%. Turkey recorded double-digit growth in both exports (up 22.8%) and imports (up 15.1%), reflecting strength in passenger travel and transport services.
Source: OECD

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