World Trade April 2018 Nowcast: 140.8 (+13.1% YoY)

May 10, 2018

gKNi WTI stood at 140.8 (+13.1% YoY) at the end of April.

Based on gKNi World Trade Indicator, global trade is increasing again, after a setback in March. Latest trends show positive dynamic in Asia and Latin America, while economies in Europe recover from the temporary negative development in March — the first month of negative growth since October 2017.

The gKNi World Trade Indicator stood at 140.8 (+13.1% YoY) at the end of April. Seasonally adjusted, the indicator is currently up +0.5% month-on-month, following a decline in March. Still, the WTI is trending significantly higher compared to the end of December. Apart from Japan, all countries in the sample, were more dynamic. Mexico, Brazil and China expanded their foreign trade activities and are expected to continue to grow in May.

European countries have suffered from both negative month-on-month and year-over-year growth in March. Despite the higher Euro as a burden, Europe rebounded in April, with Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands at the top.

Overall, based on the country forecasts for May, global trade is expected to increase further. The fastest pace of growth is expected in emerging markets — notably boosted by strong imports — which outperform advanced economies.

The positive outlook is reflected in container throughput of the largest ports: This indicator rose significantly in April following a decline in March. Since the beginning of the year, the strongest increase has been recorded in the port of Singapore (+6.3%), followed by Chinese ports (+2.4%) and the ports in the US (+1.8%).

Commenting on the WTI data, João Monteiro, Global Head of New Business Kuehne + Nagel Management AG and Managing Director LogIndex AG, said: “After the setback in March, we expect world trade to increase again, according to LogIndex nowcasts for April and May. This trend is reflected in the container throughput metrics of the largest ports. Moreover, all regions are still in a decent growth mode.”

The gKNi World Trade Indicator (WTI) is one of numerous series within Global Kuehne + Nagel Indicators (gKNi) operated by LogIndex — Kuehne + Nagel’s data company, specialized in Trade Nowcasting and Big Data Analytics. Updated daily and published monthly, the unique World Trade Indicator of the Kuehne + Nagel Group provides reliable nowcasts on the condition of the global economy. Cross-border trade itself is an early indicator of the economic trend around the globe. Monitoring the largest economies, accounting for over 75% of GDP World, the WTI offers estimates of exports, imports and industrial production two months ahead the official statistic releases.


World Trade Indicator at the end of April 2018, seasonally and working-day adjusted (SA), in USD: 140.8 points, Jan 2010 = 100 points. Export and import data from World Trade Organization (WTO) at the end of February 2018 (NSA), in USD: 134.7 (+14.6% YoY); Jan 2010 = 100 points.


Month-over-Month changes of gKNi World Trade Indicator (seasonally and working-day adjusted, SA) and monthly merchandise values according to the World Trade Organization (WTO), not seasonally or working-day adjusted, NSA, exports are valued FOB and imports CIF.


World Trade Indicator (gKNi WTI) seasonally adjusted (SA), Jan 2010 = 100 points


Heat map with the latest trends, derived from LogIndex forecasts and official data of exports and imports, in USD, EUR, JPY, GBP, AUD, CAD, AND SEK [in USD: USA, Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, Baltic, Balkan, India, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, a.o.].


Kuehne + Nagel‘s Logistics Data Lake consists of proprietary and anomysed shipment data from all modes of transportation. In some areas, and in addition with external data sources, gKNi provides full-scale monitoring, such as for seafreight, with its average capacity of around 22 million containers (TEU) and air traffic with more than 110,000 flight movements per day.


Reference month is February 2018. — * Unadjusted aggregate of countries and economies for which the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization (WTO) compiles monthly merchandise trade values (in USD). The totals cover over 90 per cent of world trade. Trade of fuel and commodity exporters in Africa and the Middle East is not included, due to the lack of data.

For more information see World Trade Indicator