Key Trends in International Merchandise Trade

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Maersk Carolina (Cargo Ship) at Charleston, South CarolinaUNCTAD has just published the report entitled “Key Trends in International Merchandise Trade.”

The report covers a range of trends and indicators, including statistics on sectoral, regional and South-South trade, on export diversification and sophistication, and on intra-industry trade.

The publication shows that, notwithstanding the economic crisis, world trade has increased dramatically over the past decade, rising almost threefold since 2002 to reach about $18.5 trillion in 2012. Developing countries have assumed an increasing share in these trade flows, and they now account for almost half of global exports. And yet, data at the regional level reveal that developing countries’ integration into the global economy is characterized by wide variations in performance, with East Asia continuing to dominate these flows of merchandise. Increased demand in developing (especially middle-income) countries, paired with a fragmentation of production processes, has resulted in a rapid increase in South-South trade, the report says.

Trade patterns across different categories of products, and across economic sectors, are also examined in the publication.

Download the report here.