According to the latest estimates from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) G20 merchandise exports rebounded in value terms in Q1 2023, as measured in current US dollars.
Compared to Q4 2022, exports increased by 2.2%, driven partly by the revival of economic activity in China. G20 merchandise imports contracted by 1.2%, largely reflecting easing energy prices.
Strong sales of vehicles and parts contributed to export growth in North America, with exports expanding by 1.0% in the United States, 1.2% in Canada and 1.2% in Mexico.
In the European Union, exports increased by 3.0%, propelled by higher shipments of machinery from France, Germany and Italy. EU imports contracted by 1.1%, mainly due to lower energy prices.
The OECD notes that as higher sales of machinery and transport equipment were offset by reduced shipments of chemicals and fuels, exports remained flat in the United Kingdom, while imports plunged.
Fueled by robust sales of steel and electronics, Chinese merchandise exports grew by 8.6%, a strong rebound following the 7.1% fall recorded in Q4 2022. China’s imports continued to decline (down 0.7%), largely due to lower purchases of integrated circuits and declining energy prices.
Following several weak quarters, export growth remained subdued in Japan and Korea. Lower sales of primary commodities impacted exports from Argentina, Indonesia and Australia.