Global Trade Volume Tumbles Most Since 2011; Biggest Value Plunge Since Lehman

Tyler Durden's picture

Back in the beginning of March, Søren Skou, the CEO of Maersk the world's largest container-shipper warned that global trade is slowing down. Specifically, he said that global trade growth could slow this year from recent 4% growth rates, as Chinese, Brazilian and Russian economies disappoint.

"Growth from a historical perspective is quite sluggish. It has a huge impact for us as an industry... The economies in Europe are still very sluggish. Brazil, Russia and China: those three economies used to drive a lot of growth, and right now we are not really seeing that to the same extent. The only real bright spot is the US, and even the US is good but not great."

Today we have proof just how accurate Skou was not only about the collapse in global trade in recent months, but that his call for the end of a US decoupling - something that only we called far in advance of the Atlanta Fed extrapolating a 0.3% Q1 GDP - was also spot on.

Presenting the latest data from the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, according to which in January world trade by volume dropped by a whopping 1.4% from December: the biggest drop since 2011!

From the report:

Based on preliminary data, the volume of world trade declined 1.4% in January from the previous month, following a revised 1.3% rise in December (initial estimate: 0.9%). There was a large negative turn-around in emerging economies’ import volume growth. Growth turned negative in all major emerging country groups, the largest fall occurring in Asia. Import growth decelerated in advanced economies as well, but remained positive due to accelerations in Japan and the Euro Area. At the export side, the decline was spread more evenly across advanced economies and emerging economies. Most regional sub-indices declined, the exceptions being those for Japan, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America.

All of this was further confirmed not only by the latest Chinese PMI data, but by every recent data release out of China.

But where things get really scary is not only when looking at global trade volume, which is sliding, but the actual value of trade calculated in USD. It is here that the real devastation for a world whose global reserve currency is still the USD, does the recent collapse in global trade as a result of the soaring value of the US dollar (for all the wrong reasons) become truly apparent.

As the chart below shows, not only did the USD value of trade in January drop to the lowest since late 2009/early 2010, but the annual rate of decline is once again, say it with us, the worst since Lehman.



However, none of the above should alarm anyone: remember - central banks can just print trade with just the flick of a CTRL-P switch.

Underlying data source

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Trick Shroadé's picture
Trick Shroadé (not verified) Mar 24, 2015 11:38 AM

The hangover I have today is the worst one I've had since Lehman.

Winston Churchill's picture

Dumb and drunk is no way to go thru' whats coming son.

You'll need your wits about you.

Headbanger's picture




Son of Loki's picture
Freeport-McMoRan Slashes Dividend By 84%


All part of Barry's 'robust rekovery.'

astoriajoe's picture

yeah, I don't know if I want to go through this sober.

by the end of this, the politicians will be begging to legalize weed if only to sedate the rampaging mobs.

Kprime's picture

pearrantly u aint watched much Duck Dynasty

one_hundred's picture
one_hundred (not verified) Trick Shroadé Mar 24, 2015 11:08 PM

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do...

cro_maat's picture

Clearly they forgot to add in hookers and blow.

Hey doesn't that convoy of USSA military vehicles in Europe count for wold trade?

NoWayJose's picture

Boomers accumulated tons of Chinese junk, and are putting it out for yard sales.  Not even China can compete with yard sale prices.

Gen X and Y don't have any money or space in their basements/apartments to accumulate anything.

Repeat all over the planet and you have your answer.

Creepy A. Cracker's picture

Yep.  I'm getting some incredible deals on furniture and things that were built from real wood and steel (the hell you say?) that have lasted, and will last, for decades.  I just remodeled a rental property bathroom with a $300, plus, pedestal sink with faucet from a local ReStore that I paid $16 for.  No more particle board cabinet crap.

Headbanger's picture

Watch for all the expensive joy ride cars showing up on used car lots soon.

I'm hoping for great deals on a few S&W revolvers I've been lusting for.

Hey,, A man gotta have his vice.. 

Might as well be one he can shoot! 

Or drive... Or fish with...

Uber Vandal's picture

Flea markets can be very lucrative too for finding great deals, esp. older USA made tools.

At times, people are almost literally giving them away.



SheepDog-One's picture

Most fullest retard since flapper girls were busting a move to The Charleston.

miker's picture

Retirment shock setting in.  SNAP DEPRESSION coming within 6 months.  We aint seen nuttin yet.

Puncher75's picture

We plunged some folks. 

foodstampbarry's picture

The folks line never gets old. +1

Consuelo's picture

Reggie plunged an A-hole...



foodstampbarry's picture

A country of serfs surviving on 9 dollar/hr jobs can no longer afford the cheap chinese shit. Yes indeed, reality is setting in.

Son of Loki's picture

$9/hr....don't brag! You'll make us feel bad.

sudzee's picture

The US will soon have to buy military equipment from China or Russia or raise taxes to pay for domestic supplies. 

Augustus's picture

The sanctions on the Russian economy seem to have collapsed world trade numbers.

Big spender oligarchs must be buying their turnips at home.

new game's picture

plus one "snap depression" lol

ReactionToClosedMinds's picture

about a year ago (say 10-11 months prior).  Barrons in lead column (Randall Forsyth) of weekend publication cited Jerome Levy Forecasting as predictng a 'recession' or slowdown caused by emerging markets versus slow growth anesthetized developed economies. 

It was a fascinating & compelling read on many levels primarily underscored by capital market, trade and currency flows. 

Never addressed,as Forsyth did not address entire column to Levy's premise, was the implication that 'central banks' just cannot address everything..... and any act or choice has a consequence somewhere along the line.

miker's picture

SNAP DEPRESSION is upon us.  Give it 6 more months to form.  Central Banks are powerless now.