Merchandise exports stagnated in 2012, UNCTAD statistics show

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Merchandise exports stagnated in 2012, UNCTAD statistics show

Geneva, Switzerland, 17 April 2013

​Decline among developed countries offset by 3.6 per cent  growth among developing countries
Global merchandise exports in 2012 grew by only 0.2 per cent in value, after having expanded significantly in 2010 and 2011, UNCTAD statistics indicate.

Among developing countries, merchandise exports climbed by 3.6 per cent, the organization reported, but much of that improvement was confined to petroleum- and gas-exporting nations.  Countries that are primary exporters of commodities other than fuels saw exports drop by 2.54 per cent.

Developed nations registered a 2.75 per cent drop in merchandise exports.

The total value of merchandise exports in 2012 was $18.325 trillion, as compared to $18.292 trillion in 2011, UNCTADstat reported.

The slowdown in merchandise trade exports was observed everywhere, from developing to developed economies. Shortly before and after the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, the growth of merchandise trade exports worldwide was significant, with the highest rate occurring in 2010 (21.9 per cent). Such exports also climbed by 19.63 per cent in 2011. The year of greatest impact from the crisis – 2009 – saw a 22.27 per cent decline in merchandise exports.

Downward trends for primary commodity prices in 2012 (excluding fuel) seriously impacted the export performance of major commodity exporters. But major exporters of petroleum and gas did quite well, recording a 5.1 per cent increase.

Developing economies continued a trend in which their share of world trade has improved year by year. At the end of 2012, these economies accounted for 44.4 per cent of the global export market. By contrast, in 2005 their share stood at 36.2 per cent. 

Access to data:

- Total merchandise trade(values and shares)
- Growth rates of merchandise trade
- Merchandise trade balance
- Commodity price statistics


Growth rate of merchandise trade exports, 2005–2012