It should come as no surprise - to anyone but the most whocouldanode crowd - but global trade volumes are slowing notably, and surprise surprise, Europe is leading the lag. Between the total lack of any sustainable trade advantage that the PIIGS suffer from (discussed here) and recent outlook cuts from FedEx and UPS (detailed here), it is not a shock that the following detailed charts of Import and Export volumes for China, US, Japan, and Europe are starting to drop notably. Just as we pointed out here, Europe remains the hub of around half of World Trade and as is clear, the myth of decoupling among the world's largest economies is smoke-and-mirrors as it is a lead-lag relationship that is now proven to be entirely un-decoupled as 'obviously' the import and export sides of the world's imbalanced economies show trade is falling in a hurry.
As Barclays notes:
The weakness of the euro area is particularly apparent in considering global trade, where the slump in euro area import demand is discernible. Additionally, there has in recent months been a leveling out in import volumes for the US and Japan, while Chinese imports (albeit a more volatile series) also weakened up to August. In turn this has led to weakness in exports at the global level, with Asian exports to Europe particularly adversely affected.