OECD Monthly Statistics of International Trade (MSIT) database

Trade declines

By sector-
International trade has declined steeply during the crisis, though how has the fall been reflected in different sectors and countries? Take the US, Germany and Japan, the three largest OECD traders-OECD countries account for roughly 60% of world trade. As shown in the top graph for total trade (which is the sum of imports and exports, rather than the difference, which is the trade balance as shown on page 5), machinery and transport equipment have broadly speaking been the main culprits, falling by over 11% in the US, 14% in Germany and 15% in Japan, comparing the second quarter 2009 with a year earlier. Lower energy prices have also contributed to fewer imports. Trade in fuel and lubricants fell by nearly 10% in the US and Japan, though exports by just over 3% in Germany. A closer look shows that fuel and lubricant imports in the US and Japan plummeted, by 13.6% and 18.1% respectively. Trade in manufactures and chemicals were not affected quite as badly, though it fell particularly steeply in Germany, by 6% and 3.6% respectively, year-on-year.

-and by geography
North America accounts for between a quarter and a third of US goods trade, and predictably, US exports and imports have fallen most in these markets-by about 10% over the period from the second quarter in 2008 to the same period in 2009. However, German trade with its neighbours in Europe accounts for about 70% of its total trade, and so imports slumped by some 23% and exports by 28% to those markets. Asian markets account for about half of Japan's trade, but imports and exports with these partners fell by 11% and 14% respectively. A look at the rest of the world reveals different levels of trade exposure too. US trade with Asia and Europe fell by 6-8%. Japanese imports from the rest of the world fell by 17%. Moreover, Japan suffered fairly sharp declines in trade with North America (down 4% for imports and nearly 8% for exports), whereas Germany saw a decline of just 3% in exports to the US, and less than 2% in imports. As for the US, its imports from Asia fell by 8% and exports by 6%, while its imports from other countries around the world fell by nearly 10%.

For more detail see StatLinks and email std.contact@oecd.org

OECD Monthly Statistics of International Trade (MSIT) database

©OECD Observer No 274, October 2009




Economic data

E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly


Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • Trade is an important point of focus in today’s international economy. This video presents facts and statistics from OECD’s most recent publications on this topic.
  • How do the largest community of British expats living in Spain feel about Brexit? Britons living in Orihuela Costa, Alicante give their views.
  • Brexit is taking up Europe's energy and focus, according to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. Watch video.
  • OECD Chief Economist Catherine Mann and former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King discuss the economic merits of a US border adjustment tax and the outlook for US economic growth.
  • Africa's cities at the forefront of progress: Africa is urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom. By 2050, about 56% of Africans are expected to live in cities. This poses major policy challenges, but make no mistake: Africa’s cities and towns are engines of progress that, if harnessed correctly, can fuel the entire continent’s sustainable development.
  • OECD Observer i-Sheet Series: OECD Observer i-Sheets are smart contents pages on major issues and events. Use them to find current or recent articles, video, books and working papers. To browse on paper and read on line, or simply download.
  • How sustainable is the ocean as a source of economic development? The Ocean Economy in 2030 examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • They are green and local --It’s a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya with big dreams of sustainable energy and the drive to see their innovative technologies throughout Africa. blogs.worldbank.org
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at www.oecd.org/careers .

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2017