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IHS Markit: The worst quarter in trade on record

While the findings are hardly a revelation it is interesting to see the patterns and have a view on next steps. Interesting pointers on prospects for the forthcoming months.

Key points:

  • China mainland is the only top economy showing signs of recovery in Q2 2020 both in exports and imports

  • Overall, the Q2 of 2020 is the worst quarter in global trade on record

  • Year-on-year changes in exports in May 2020 were negative for all reporting states including China (-3.3%), Brazil (-14.2%), South Korea (-23.7%), Japan (-26.0%), Russia (-34.8%), United States (-36.3%), UK (-36.6%), EU external trade (-37.7%) and Canada (-41.0%)

  • Several countries have already reported trade data for June 2020, Brazilian exports went down by 2.7% year-on-year, the situation is much worse for South Korea (-10.9%) and Japan (-26.1%), Chinese exports went up year-on-year but only by 0.3% which is, however, a clear improvement on the preceding months, taking the whole Q2 2020 Chinese exports are above by 0.1% over the result

  • PMI new export orders for manufacturing is above 50.0 points for the US and the EU excluding the UK providing some optimism for Q3

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