G20 international merchandise trade, seasonally adjusted and expressed in current US dollars, continued its downward trend in the second quarter of 2019, with exports contracting by 1.9% and imports by 0.9%, according to numbers from OECD.
Exports contracted by 5.3% in China—to its lowest since Q4 2017—and by 1.1% in the US, its lowest since Q1 2018.
Imports rose marginally in both countries—by 0.6% in China and 0.3% in the US—on the back of a pick-up in US-China bilateral trade, possibly reflecting stockpiling in anticipation of US tariff measures that became effective on 10 May and Chinese retaliatory measures implemented on June 1, said OECD.
US exports to, and imports from, China increased by 2.7% and 0.2% respectively in Q2 of 2019, . However, these numbers remain significantly below the highs seen in Q3 2018, by 17.4% for exports and 10.7% for imports, OECD observed
In the European Union, exports and imports contracted by 1.7% and 2.3% respectively.
France’s exports fell by 0.3% and imports by 0.7% while Germany’s exports fell by 3.0% and imports by 1.7%.
Italy’s imports fell by 0.6%—the fifth consecutive quarterly fall, though its exports saw a modest increase of 0.1%.
Amid continuing Brexit uncertainty, the UK saw significant contractions in both exports which hit minus 7.1% and imports which hit minus 12.6%.