Japan’s trade growth stagnates amidst slowing global trade

  • Air exports of Capital Equipment and Machinery,
    High Technology, and Chemicals and Products show signs of growth
  • Both air and ocean trade growth expected to
    remain flat between June and August 2019


TOKYO, JAPAN - Media OutReach - 8 July 2019 - Japanese trade looks to
stagnate in the coming quarter for the first time since 2015, according to data
from the DHL Global Trade Barometer ("GTB" or the "Barometer"). The GTB, an early
indicator of global trade developments calculated using artificial intelligence
and big data, suggests that the downward trend for Japan's trade growth will
accelerate between June and August 2019, dropping seven points to an overall
index value of 50. [1]


"Japan's exposure to both sides of the ongoing
US-China trade dispute appears to be taking a rising toll on its own trade outlook,
with exports to China alone falling by 10% in May -- causing overall exports to
drop by nearly 8% as imports experienced a decline after unexpected growth in
April," said Charles Kaufmann, CEO North Asia South Pacific, DHL Global
Forwarding and President/Representative Director, DHL Global Forwarding Japan
K.K. "Ongoing volatility and uncertainty in global trade conditions, coupled
with indirect exposure to the tariffs being wielded in the US-China dispute,
have created conditions where Japan's key manufacturing industries are exercising more
caution than ever before."


Both air and ocean trade volumes are expected to
decelerate to near-zero growth, with exports from Capital Equipment and
Machinery, High Technology, Chemicals and Products and Machinery Parts for air
exports, and Industrial Raw Materials and Land Vehicles & Parts for ocean
exports, displaying the only significant gains.[2]
Air exports remain relatively strong, even as the overall air trade outlook
fell by 11 points to 50 due to a fall in air imports, while ocean trade looks
set to contract with an index of 49 points.


Latest results show negative effects of trade

For the first time since its launch in 2018, the
Barometer's results predict a slight decline in global trade in the three-month
period ending in August 2019, with its overall world trade outlook dropping to
just 48 index points.


Commenting on the latest forecast, Tim Scharwath,
CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight, said, "Amidst rising US-Chinese
tensions, the slightly negative outlook for global trade for the third quarter
of 2019 does not come as a complete surprise. The latest GTB clearly
illustrates why trade disputes create no winners. Nevertheless, some major
economies such as Germany continue to record positive trade growth. And from a
year-to-date perspective, world trade growth has still been positive. Hence, we
remain confident in our initial prognosis that 2019 will be a year with overall
positive, but slower trade growth."


The continued trade disputes between the US and
China have contributed significantly to that decline, with both countries
experiencing the largest contraction in their trade outlook (-11 points for the
US, -7 points for China) out of all countries surveyed by the Barometer.


Scharwath added, "The GTB is a useful tool for us
to anticipate economic developments at an early stage. We are well-prepared to
tackle the forecasted developments. Our divisional structure and portfolio as
well as our worldwide activities allow us to balance economic effects within
the company and remain resilient to changes in global trade dynamics."

In the Global Trade Barometer
methodology, an index value above 50 indicates positive growth, while values
below 50 indicate contraction.

Click here
for more information on the outlook for air freight and ocean freight or the
key sectors in Japan.

About the Global Trade Barometer

Launched in January 2018, the DHL Global Trade
Barometer is an innovative and unique early indicator for the current state and
future development of global trade. It is based on large amounts of logistics
data that are evaluated with the help of artificial intelligence. The indicator
is published four times a year and the next release date is scheduled for September


For more information on the DHL Global Trade
Barometer, please visit:

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