- Trade Trends in Goods and Services in Asia-Pacific 2022/2023
Following a global demand slowdown in the second half of this year, global and regional real merchandise trade growth is expected to be limited in 2022. Global real exports and imports are forecasted to grow by just 3.7% and 3.9%, respectively. Asia-Pacific real exports (excluding the Russian Federation) are expected to grow 3.0%, while imports will contract by 0.3%. Nominally, merchandise trade in Asia and the Pacific in 2022 is forecasted to total US$ 19.0 trillion in 2022.
In 2023, regional merchandise trade is expected to continue growing modestly. Nominal exports and imports growth (excluding the Russian Federation) is forecasted to reach 1.9% and 2.5%, respectively, and 1.6% and 0.7% in real terms, respectively. These estimates assume that inflation will be effectively curbed during the next year. Downside risks such as the potential re-emergence of COVID-19 lockdowns, the evolution of the war in Ukraine and risks of a global economic recession loom and add a considerable amount of uncertainty to current estimates.
Inflationary pressures have dominated nominal growth in 2022, with nominal exports and imports growth ballooning to 14.7% and 17.1% globally, and to 10.2% and 13.0% regionally (excluding the Russian Federation). However, across the region, inflationary pressures have had varying impacts, with the terms of trade of some commodity-heavy economies’ improving more than 15%, while some others deteriorated up to 30%.
Owing to the region’s slower trade growth, the Asia and Pacific share of global nominal exports and imports is expected to deteriorate slightly to 39.4% and 35.8%, respectively. Moreover, the region’s trade surplus is expected to decline marginally to US$ 0.68 trillion.
Subregional performances are expected to vary considerably. South-East Asia is the only subregion logging strong positive real exports and import growth. South and South-West Asia and the Pacific subregion are also expected to see positive export and import growth, albeit more modest. All remaining subregional performances are forecasted to be negative, with North and Central Asia bearing the heaviest losses due to the influence of the Russian Federation’s performance.