World Trade in 2010

According to WTO the volume of world trade returned to its pre-crisis levels: 2010 exports went up by 14.5% as a result of recovery trade activity in 2010.

This index recorded its worst level since 1950, when global trade became subject to assessment. 2009 demonstrated the worst world trade development index over the whole period of record: then the slump in world trade reached 12% as a result of the global financial crisis. For the last 65 years the volume of world trade fell only three times: by 0.2% in 1965, by 2% in 1982, and by 7% in 1975.
European countries, the USA, Japan, China and Canada are world leaders of international trade over the last years. Significant changes in the first three leading exporting countries took place in 2009. Then in the circumstances of total goods turnover contraction china overtook Germany on the overall value of goods export and took the first place increasing the gap with the US, which remained in the third place. In 2010 China strengthened its 1st position by increasing the volume of its goods exports to 1.6 trillion dollars (10.4% of world trade).

Russian export, which suffered a steep fall by 35.7% in 2009, went up by 31.9% in 2010 and reached 400 bn dollars. The share of Russian Federation in the world export constituted 2.6% in 2010.

The WTO Secretariat uses two methods to determine the place of certain countries in world trade. According to the first method, the WTO Secretariat includes not only EU trade with the third countries but its mutual trade, i.e. trade between the country members of EU in assessing of world trade volume. If to apply this method to Russia, in 2010 Russia will take 12th place on goods export and 18th place – on goods import; on services export – 23rd place and services import – 16th place. According to the second method, EU domestic trade is not included in the world trade volume, which results in the fact that Russia takes 7th place on goods export and 12th  place on goods import, and 12th place on services export and 9th place on services import.

According to WTO forecast oil prices remain high due to events in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2011 world export growth slowed down to 6.5%, which is somewhat more than the average level of growth for the period between 1990 and 2008, which was at the 6% level.

Events in Japan will produce impact on the world trade. According to the WTO forecast export from Japan in 2011 will be down by 0.5% and the volume of import will go up by 0.4%.

N.P. Volovik – Head of Foreign Trade Department