OECD International Trade Statistics: Trends in the first quarter of 2022

May 24, 2022 – After six quarters of sustained growth, The value of international goods trade for the G20 reaches a new high in the first quarter of 2022. Export and importmeasured in current US dollars, increased by 3.6% and 5.8% compared to the 4th quarter of 2021, respectively. While this increase was largely explained by higher commodity prices, the war in Ukraine and COVID-19 containment measures in East Asia put additional pressure on the prices of traded goods and already strained value chains.

The growth of exports and imports of services for the G20 is projected to be around 2.0% and 1.1% in the first quarter of 2022., measured in comparison to the previous quarter and in current US dollars, respectively. These preliminary estimates are well below the 6.2% and 3.1% for exports and imports recorded in Q4 2021, reflecting weakening trade in the transport sector in East Asia and a general slowdown in trade in services. data is available.

G20 Trade in Services
Based on seasonally adjusted current price data (in billions of USD)

To explore this data, visit the OECD’s interactive data portal.

Source: OECD Statistics and Data Directorate

Note: Trade in services values ​​for the first quarter of 2022 are preliminary estimates based on available data covering approximately 60% of G20 total exports and imports.

North American goods export growth slows in Q1 2022. After 7.1% growth in the previous quarter, the United States saw a 2.4% increase in exports from energy and chemical products (including pharmaceuticals and fertilizers). Imports increased sharply (+9.6%), supported by computers and spare parts, telecommunications equipment, as well as clothing and other consumer goods. Canada’s exports rose 4.2% at the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, driven by energy, forestry and record shipments of potash. Due to the slowdown in purchases in the automotive sector, imports showed a moderate increase (+1.3%). Exports and imports increased by 5.2% and 6.9% respectively in Mexico, while the increase in exports was energy and vehicles and parts.

Goods exports in East Asia continued to increase, while import trends differed between countries. Chip shortages had a negative impact on vehicle and parts shipments, with total exports increasing only 0.8% in Japan, while energy and commodity prices boosted imports (+7.0%). Electronics, COVID-19 test kits and electric cars continued to support Korea’s export growth (+3.8%), while energy purchases drove higher imports (+6.1%). China’s exports rose 4.7%, driven by strong sales of steel and plastic products and regular electronic shipments. On the other hand, Chinese imports stagnated (+0.3%) as energy purchases were partially offset by the decline in iron ore imports. India’s exports fell 0.9% in the first quarter of 2022, while imports rose 4.6%.

Rising energy purchases boost import growth in most European economies. In the European Union, exports and imports increased by 3.0% and 5.0%, respectively. France’s exports increased by 3.2% due to aviation and ships, while imports increased by 4.3% due to chemicals and metals. Goods exports (+5.5%) and imports (+7.9%) also increased in Italy, with the strongest growth recorded in intermediate goods exports. Germany’s exports fell by 0.1% while imports increased by 3.0% due to geopolitical tensions that adversely affected shipments of machinery and chemicals. Similarly, exports from the United Kingdom fell (-1.6%), but imports increased sharply (+18.8%), driven by machinery, transport equipment and energy.

Rapidly rising prices boost the value of goods trade for major G20 commodity exporters. Australia’s exports increased 7.8% in the first quarter of 2022, driven by increased sales of grain, coal and metals. Also due to grain, exports of goods in Argentina increased by 11.5%. Despite the slowdown in metal ore exports, exports from Brazil rose 20.2%, led by the increase in exports of mineral fuels and soybeans. Similarly, exports from Indonesia and South Africa recorded strong growth in the first quarter of 2022 (6.1% and 7.7%, respectively).

Services trade slows in North America. In the first quarter of 2022, exports and imports in the United States increased by 2.3%, respectively, with strength in business services and financial services offsetting weakness in transportation and computer services. Canada’s exports fell slightly (-1.3%) across all categories, primarily travel. Imports rose 2.3%, transport and travel recorded strong growth (+7.5% and +6.2%).

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

Services trade slowed in most European countries. In Germany and Italy, exports of services increased by 1.1% and 1.8%, respectively, while imports stagnated (+0.4% for Germany and -0.8% for Italy). Services exports in the UK fell by 1.3% and imports contracted sharply (-11.5). On the other hand, while travel exports increased by 14.0%, service exports in France increased by 4.9%, while imports increased by 2.0%. Turkey recorded double-digit growth in both exports (+22.8%) and imports (+15.1%), reflecting strength in passenger travel and transportation services.

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