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U.S. Pulp Market – Exports to China Fell 9.4% in 2018, U.S Companies Lost $78M

pulp

U.S. Pulp Market – Exports to China Fell 9.4% in 2018, U.S Companies Lost $78M

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘U.S. Pulp Market. Analysis And Forecast to 2025’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the pulp market in the U.S. amounted to $4.8B in 2018, going up by 9% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). The market value increased at an average annual rate of +2.5% from 2013 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2014 with an increase of 19% against the previous year. In that year, the pulp market attained its peak level of $5.1B. From 2015 to 2018, the growth of the pulp market remained at a lower figure.

Pulp Production in the U.S.

In value terms, pulp production totaled $7.2B in 2018. Overall, pulp production, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2014 with an increase of 8.9% year-to-year. In that year, pulp production reached its peak level of $7.7B. From 2015 to 2018, pulp production growth failed to regain its momentum.

Exports from the U.S.

In 2018, approx. 6M tonnes of pulp were exported from the U.S.; going down by -4.7% against the previous year. Over the period under review, pulp exports continue to indicate a mild shrinkage. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2015 with an increase of 3.1% against the previous year. Exports peaked at 6.4M tonnes in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, exports remained at a lower figure.

In value terms, pulp exports amounted to $4.5B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total export value increased at an average annual rate of +1.7% from 2013 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with only minor fluctuations being observed over the period under review. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2018 when exports increased by 11% against the previous year. In that year, pulp exports reached their peak and are likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

Exports by Country

China (1.6M tonnes) was the main destination for pulp exports from the U.S., with a 26% share of total exports. Moreover, pulp exports to China exceeded the volume sent to the second major destination, Japan (479K tonnes), threefold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by Italy (391K tonnes), with a 6.6% share.

From 2013 to 2018, the average annual rate of growth in terms of volume to China stood at -3.2%. Exports to the other major destinations recorded the following average annual rates of exports growth: Japan (+3.1% per year) and Italy (-3.4% per year).

In value terms, China ($1.2B) remains the key foreign market for pulp exports from the U.S., comprising 26% of total pulp exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Japan ($410M), with a 9.1% share of total exports. It was followed by Italy, with a 6.3% share.

From 2013 to 2018, the average annual growth rate of value to China amounted to +1.0%. Exports to the other major destinations recorded the following average annual rates of exports growth: Japan (+6.9% per year) and Italy (-1.5% per year).

Export Prices by Country

In 2018, the average pulp export price amounted to $759 per tonne, going up by 16% against the previous year. Over the period from 2013 to 2018, it increased at an average annual rate of +3.1%. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2018 an increase of 16% against the previous year. In that year, the average export prices for pulp reached their peak level and is likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was Japan ($855 per tonne), while the average price for exports to Germany ($554 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was recorded for supplies to South Korea, while the prices for the other major destinations experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports into the U.S.

In 2018, the amount of pulp imported into the U.S. totaled 2.5M tonnes, increasing by 4.2% against the previous year. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +3.5% from 2013 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being recorded in certain years. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2018 when imports increased by 4.2% year-to-year. In that year, pulp imports reached their peak and are likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, pulp imports totaled $1.5B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +4.8% over the period from 2013 to 2018; the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2018 with an increase of 23% year-to-year. In that year, pulp imports attained their peak and are likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

Imports by Country

In 2018, Brazil (2.1M tonnes) constituted the largest pulp supplier to the U.S., accounting for a 85% share of total imports. Moreover, pulp imports from Brazil exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest supplier, Chile (248K tonnes), ninefold.

From 2013 to 2018, the average annual rate of growth in terms of volume from Brazil amounted to +1.7%. The remaining supplying countries recorded the following average annual rates of imports growth: Chile (+20.8% per year) and Sweden (+19.7% per year).

In value terms, Brazil ($1.4B) constituted the largest supplier of pulp to the U.S., comprising 90% of total pulp imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Chile ($75M), with a 4.8% share of total imports.

From 2013 to 2018, the average annual growth rate of value from Brazil totaled +4.0%. The remaining supplying countries recorded the following average annual rates of imports growth: Chile (+16.9% per year) and Sweden (+14.9% per year).

Import Prices by Country

The average pulp import price stood at $619 per tonne in 2018, growing by 18% against the previous year. Over the period from 2013 to 2018, it increased at an average annual rate of +1.2%. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2018 an increase of 18% y-o-y. In that year, the average import prices for pulp reached their peak level and is likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major supplying countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Brazil ($655 per tonne), while the price for Chile ($300 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Brazil, while the prices for the other major suppliers experienced a decline.

Companies Mentioned in the Report

Profile Products, Domtar Industries, Georgia-Pacific Brewton, Woodland Pulp, Cascade Pacific Pulp, Northwest Capital Appreciation, Forest Resolute Products, American Paper Recycling, Cascades Tissue Group-Oregon, A Division of Cascades Holding US, Parsons & Whittemore, St Paper, Alabama River Cellulose, Buckeye Technologies, Brunswick Cellulose, Parsons & Whittemore Enterprises, Fibrek Inc., Port Townsend Holdings Company, Buckeye Mt. Holly, Lest Distributors, Southern Cellulose Products, DOMTAR A.W., Alabama River Group, GP Cellulose, Buckeye Florida Limited Partnership, Pratt Paper (ny), Fibrek Recycling U.S. , Cosmo Specialty Fibers, Ox Paperboard

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

airfeight

Airfreight vs. Sea Freight – Which Works Better?

Airfreight vs. sea freight has become a burning dilemma for all those in need of this type of services. While both solutions come with a set of advantages and disadvantages, the final choice one makes will depend on a variety of factors. We are willing to share our knowledge and findings with you so that you can make the best possible decision regarding your shipment in the given circumstances. 

Airfreight vs sea freight – the costs can be a decisive factor

Undeniably, the amount of financial means necessary to afford airfreight services is considerably higher than that of sea freight. Moreover, the appearance of the largest cargo aircraft in the world announces great changes and improvements in this field. The Antonov An-225 could cause a further rise of the airfreight costs, but it will also guarantee higher quality. On the other hand, sea freight is much more affordable and, consequently, the number one choice of a vast majority of clients. Opting for sea freight provides clients with acceptable service but at a significantly lower price.

Time matters greatly!

Most often, clients want their shipment delivered as soon as possible, which can cause problems for those offering sea freight services. Not seldom do customs issues or hold-ups at ports cause serious delays. However, we must admit that a giant step forward is evident in this field. Firstly, high-quality, modern ships are much faster now than it was the case in the past. Secondly, there are some canal upgrades that can eliminate tedious and tiring delays on some routes. Finally, sea freight forwarders can guarantee delivery times, which is vital for business owners when it comes to organization.

The type of cargo affects the final choice on airfreight vs. sea freight dilemma

The type of cargo is one of the most important factors influencing the choice in the airfreight vs. sea fright dilemma. In this case, we must admit that sea fright seems like a much better solution since it has no limitations you have to be aware of. One of the crucial pros of the maritime shipping is that you can ship even the bulkiest and extremely heavy goods. Conversely, airfreight is limited in this discipline. Before you opt for this type of goods transportation, it is advisable to make sure that the type of your cargo is acceptable. In addition, there is a very long list of the items which are prohibited and those listed as hazardous materials. Depending on your final destination, the rules and laws may differ. Yet, getting sufficient information on the subject must still be the first step in the process.

Safety of your cargo is the top priority

Understandably, the safety of cargo is always the top priority. It is important to emphasize that air cargo has to be dealt with the utmost attention and in accordance with the regulations which are very strict and clear. All the crucial elements, including handling and securing your cargo as well as the proper storage, are defined by airport regulations. This is a great benefit and a guarantee that the safety of your goods will be at the maximal level. On the other hand, we cannot say that sea freight is a bad alternative either. In this case, the goods are transported in containers, but the human factor is crucial. Proper packing strategies are essential in order to decrease any chances of potential damage during transport. If this is not conducted appropriately, the chances are some of your goods might get seriously damaged or even cause further problems on the ship.

Do not forget about the accessibility of your goods

If we analyze the accessibility of your goods as one of the criteria, airfreight is a more favorable option by all means. The procedures are clear, cargo is in smaller volumes and there are no unnecessary waitings to receive your goods. Using sea freight for your cargo often results in additional costs due to heavy congestions in seaports. If your goods are not delivered at the arranged time, you are required to pay for detention and demurrage costs, which may be a heavy burden on your budget. However, we must not forget to mention an advantage sea freight offers comparing to airfreight. The accessibility to markets is much higher in case of sea freight. The reason is very simple. When unloaded from ships, containers can move further inland by using the services of intermodal shippers

Eco-friendly practices 

Finally, let us not forget about the environment when choosing between airfreight vs sea freight. Applying eco-friendly practices is becoming increasingly important, so it does not surprise this is one of the factors shippers base their decision on. According to this particular criterion, sea freight is a more reasonable option since it has a significantly better carbon footprint. Quite the opposite, airplanes are serious polluters and require special attention and measures to reduce their carbon footprint to minimal values.

Final words on airfreight vs sea freight dilemma

The decisions and choices you make concerning airfreight vs sea freight dilemma will depend on miscellaneous factors. It is of key importance to weigh the pros and cons of each of these options and then make your decision final.  A serious effort is required to negotiate the best shipping terms and only then can you expect to ship your goods completely fuss-free.

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Susan Daniels is a passionate copywriter who loves exploring home improvement ideas and real estate market. Lately, she has gained considerable knowledge in the types of moving services and the qualities of respectable moving companies such as DA Moving NYC, for example. She enjoys giving advice on the best places to live and exciting places to visit. Traveling makes her happy as well as reading good books.

global trade

Global Trade: 2019 Wrap-Up and 2020 Forecast

Looking back at this year, 2019 saw a multitude of global economic growth disruptors from the escalation of the trade war between the U.S. and China, to Germany’s manufacturing and automotive decline and Brexit.

Consequentially, global trade growth has almost come to a standstill, and while it’s not quite at recession levels, nearly every market and sector, as well as businesses within those sectors, have felt the impact of policies and decision making.

Even with the possibility that trade growth could rebound in 2020 to a modest 1.5%, economic policy uncertainty remains high and if it abates, it is likely only to do so to a limited extent into 2020. What factors are at play? Let’s take a look.

Trade war with China. Despite the recent conclusion of ‘phase one’ of a U.S.-China trade deal, uncertainty remains high. The underlying reason for the trade war is not resolved and is unlikely to be resolved soon either: it regards fundamental issues such as the influence of China on the global economy and theft of intellectual property. Although tensions may temporarily soften, as they seem to do now, we see no end in sight for the trade war with China and with the current administration in the White House for one more year, another rocky year is forecasted. The trade war alone is affecting no more than almost 3% of global trade — currently approximately $550 billion of goods — but it is sending a ripple effect around the globe from business investment to value chains and trade flows. If it expands to other economies in Asia and Europe, which is very possible, we could see an even more pronounced slowing in trade.

Brexit. The self-imposed economic hardship has caused much uncertainty and plummeting fixed investments in the business sector. With Boris Johnson elected to Prime Minister in the December election and Brexit a certainty come January 31, policy uncertainty has been lessened, but some will remain until a new trade relationship with the EU is shaped. While the clout of those favoring a no-deal Brexit has been diminished, a no-deal Brexit is still possible. If this occurs, it would throw chaos into supply chains across Europe.

Business insolvencies and market pressure. The U.S. is expected to lead the number of business insolvencies with a 3.9% increase in 2020, far above the global average of 2.6% expected next year. This is due to the fact that there’s been lower business investment, lower external demand (especially from China), and higher import and labor costs. Those sectors feeling the most pressure include steel, which is dealing with an overcapacity issue, automotive, and businesses dealing in aircraft, which have seen a 20% market share loss. U.S. businesses dealing in vegetable and animal products and agriculture won’t see any relief soon either, and all U.S. businesses that have typically relied on imports from China (as well as businesses in China relying on imports from the U.S.) are now facing higher costs, which are resulting in insolvencies.

Despite all the economic doom and gloom, there are a few bright spots. Indeed, the ‘phase one’ agreement between the U.S. and China provides at least hope. Moreover, the U.S. signed trade agreements with Japan, Canada, and Mexico, and a few countries, like India and China, which are pulling their weight with a 6% GDP growth rate, are providing some positive impact on the global figure as they continue to grow at rapid pace, that is to say above 5% per annum.

Further, the consumer outlook looks positive with household consumption in both North America and Europe ending on a high note, thanks to low unemployment. Unfortunately, this alone cannot support economic growth. Low-interest rates and the amount of money floating around the U.S. as well as Europe could give rise to turmoil in the markets and the economy – both pillars of global growth – and any detriment to consumer confidence could put the economy in a downward spiral, reversing the modest growth expectations set for 2020.

There is much at stake and a low likelihood of that changing for 2020. If economic and political developments continue to sour, economic growth could be hampered even more than it already is.

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John Lorié is Chief Economist at Atradius Credit Insurance, having joined the company in April 2011. He is also affiliated to the University of Amsterdam as a researcher. Previously, he was Senior Vice President at ABN AMRO, where he worked for more than 20 years in a variety of roles. He started his career in the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. John holds a PHD in international economics, masters’ degrees in economics (honours) and tax economics as well as a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

trade

Laboring for Trade

Labor provisions are an increasingly important feature in trade agreements. But do they work?

How countries treat their workers might seem unconnected to the movement of goods and services across national borders. Yet in many trade negotiations, a trading partner’s labor standards are an increasingly important concern.

The fate of the pending United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), for instance, hinged for months on bipartisan support for the pact’s provisions around labor. In fact, the Trump Administration made major efforts to woo organized labor and ultimately secured the support of the AFL-CIO, thereby ensuring the agreement’s passage through the Democratically-controlled House.

But despite the attention paid to labor provisions in trade deals like USMCA, domestic policy, not trade agreements, might be the most direct – and most effective – way to improve workers’ lot, especially in advanced countries like the United States. As important as labor provisions have become to trade agreements, available research points to a mixed record on their impacts.

More and more common in trade agreements

Trade and labor standards have been linked concerns since at least the 19th century, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). As early as the mid-1800s, European social activists were agitating for international labor norms such as an eight-hour workday and the abolition of forced labor. By the end of the century, countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand had passed laws banning the import of products made by prisoners.

But it wasn’t until the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993 that trade agreements explicitly addressed labor (technically the 1947 Havana Charter contained an article on Fair Labour Standards but did not go into effect). NAFTA included the first side agreement on labor standards, the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC), which established a system of “cooperative activities” that the United States, Mexico and Canada agreed to undertake together to improve worker treatment.

The floodgates opened after NAFTA. In 1996, the World Trade Organization (WTO) adopted The Singapore Ministerial Declaration, embodying a new global consensus on trade and labor. Among other things, the Declaration included a commitment to international core labor standards while rejecting the use of labor standards for “protectionist purposes.”

Today, labor provisions are increasingly de rigeur in trade deals. By the ILO’s count, 77 trade agreements negotiated globally in 2016 included labor provisions, compared to just three in 1995. Overall, says the ILO, more than a quarter of global trade pacts reached in 2016 – 28.8 percent – addressed labor standards in some way.

 

# ageements with L provisions text

Rationale for labor provisions

Proponents of labor standards in trade agreements cite several justifications for including these provisions. The first is moral: Trade agreements set the rules for international trade, and the inclusion of labor standards reinforces the social and human rights norms valued by the international community. Some argue that rich countries like the United States have a particular duty to use their leverage and buying power to raise standards in developing nations.

Another rationale is economic. As the ILO notes, “[L]abour provisions are tools against unfair competition, the main idea being that violations of labour standards can distort competitiveness (‘social dumping’) and should be addressed in a manner similar to that employed against other unfair trading practices.” In particular, labor standards arguably prevent a “race to the bottom,” where countries compete to produce ever-cheaper goods by shortchanging their workers. Some U.S. advocates further argue that labor standards can level the field between workers in competing countries, potentially stemming the tide of offshoring from wealthier countries to lower-paying ones and protecting domestic jobs. (More on this argument below.)

A third rationale for these provisions is political. Labor provisions, especially in the United States, have become a powerful bargaining chip for competing interests, as the USMCA and other trade agreements have shown. The strength of a trade pact’s labor provisions has also become a proxy for the “fair” trade that the public increasingly wants to see; trade deals might be more likely to win public approval if its advocates can tout “tough” labor provisions that purport to protect U.S. jobs.

ILO chart of provisions in agreements

Carrots, sticks and helping hands

While becoming increasingly complex, labor provisions tend to fall into several basic categories. First, so-called “promotional” provisions aim to encourage countries to raise labor standards by defining a set of commitments and detailing a variety of “cooperative” activities countries might do to discuss, implement and monitor these obligations.

For instance, in the CAFTA-DR agreement involving the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic, the United States agreed to finance an array of “capacity building” activities aimed at improving countries’ infrastructure around workers’ rights. These projects, according to the ILO, included “increasing workers’ awareness of their labour rights, increasing the budget and equipment of labour ministries and labour judiciaries, training labour officials, and setting up centres providing legal assistance to workers.”

While these types of provisions could be considered “carrots,” agreements can also include “sticks” in the form of “conditional” provisions requiring a trading partner to meet certain obligations before a deal is ratified. The United States’ trade agreement with Morocco, for instance, required Morocco to raise its minimum working age from 12 to 15 and to lower the maximum number of hours in its workweek from 48 to 44 as a precondition to ratification.

Text graphic weak enforcement criticism of NAFTA

Other “sticks” include provisions calling for sanctions if a country’s commitments aren’t met and specifying the mechanisms for policing and enforcement. Among the processes detailed would be who is entitled to file a complaint and how disputes will be settled (e.g, through arbitration). Among the chief complaints of NAFTA’s critics was weak enforcement, which is one reason why this issue became a major sticking point in negotiations over NAFTA’s successor, the USMCA. For instance, while more than 40 labor complaints were filed under NAFTA, none have so far led to sanctions, a result that many labor advocates wanted to see remedied.

Impacts on workers’ conditions and on trade flows

Research on the impacts of labor provisions in trade agreements is relatively scant. For one thing, measuring the direct impacts of these provisions on workers’ circumstances is hard to do. What research there is, however, shows that labor provisions can benefit workers in developing countries, especially if they have the support of wealthier trading partners in building capacity for creating and implementing reforms.

In a 2017 survey of existing research, the ILO found that labor provisions in trade agreements can provide a modest boost to workforce participation in some countries, particularly among women, and even help ease the gender gap in wages. According to the ILO, the average workforce participation rates in countries subject to labor provisions is about 1.6 percentage points higher than in countries without such obligations. “One possible explanation for this effect is that labour provision-related policy dialogue and awareness-raising can influence people’s expectations of better working conditions, which in turn increase their willingness to enter the labour force,” says the ILO.

In certain circumstances, conditional labor provisions can dramatically benefit workers. In Cambodia, for instance, according to the ILO, labor provisions included in the Cambodia–United States Bilateral Textile Agreement helped reduce the gender gap in Cambodia’s textile sector by as much as 80 percent between 1999 and 2004. “These results are partly due to the incentive structure of the agreement, which tied export quotas to compliance with labour standards, but also to a monitoring programme (Better Factories Cambodia) that was implemented with the support of the ILO and backed by the social partners,” the ILO found.

What the evidence does not show is that higher labor standards in developing countries dampens the flow of trade by raising the price of goods produced. In fact, research shows the opposite – countries subject to labor provisions often see a slight increase in their exports. According to a 2017 analysis by the World Trade Organization (WTO), labor provisions can benefit low-income countries by “increas[ing] demand for products by concerned consumers” in richer countries, thereby leading to more trade. (Consider, for instance, the growing consumer demand for “fair trade” coffee.) Similarly, the ILO finds that countries entering trade agreements with labor provisions see a slightly greater increase in the value of trade compared to countries without such provisions.

L provisions no substitute for domestic action

Both the WTO and ILO analyses caution, however, that the countries seeing the biggest impacts on their workers also enjoyed strong domestic support for labor reforms. While entering a trade agreement with labor provisions might have helped catalyze important shifts in domestic policy, the agreements themselves are no substitute for domestic action. In fact, in places where domestic enthusiasm for labor market reforms are weak, the impacts of labor provisions have been minimal.

One case in point is Guatemala, where the AFL-CIO and six Guatemalan trade unions filed a complaint in 2008 alleging that Guatemala was failing its obligations under CAFTA-DR. After nine years of procedural and other delays, an arbitration panel convened under the auspices of CAFTA-DR in Guatemala failed to find that Guatemala had breached its obligations under the agreement, despite the lack of progress on systemic reforms and widespread reports of anti-union violence.

No replacement for domestic policy

The inclusion of robust labor provisions in trade agreements reinforces international norms for just worker treatment. It can also promote much-needed reforms in nations with weak standards and help protect workers from exploitation.

Wealthy countries should not, however, count on labor provisions in trade agreements as a principal mechanism for protecting domestic jobs.

For one thing, as we’ve written elsewhere on this site, companies’ decisions about where to put their factories depends on many factors other than the cost of labor, such as proximity to markets, intellectual property protections, tax and regulatory considerations, and the skill of the workforce. Second, labor provisions in trade agreements are, at best, a highly indirect way of leveling the playing field between workers from one country to another. Third and most significantly, the biggest future threat to a worker’s job might not be a lower-paid worker in a maquila but a robot.

While apocalyptic forecasts of automation’s impacts are no doubt overblown, there’s little question that advances in automation will prove immensely disruptive in coming decades. For instance, one 2018 analysis by Price Waterhouse Cooper predicts that nearly 40 percent of U.S. jobs could be susceptible to automation by 2030.

Ultimately, the best protection for workers are domestic policies that prepare workers for disruption and smooth their transition in the event of displacement. These policies can include better and more robust adjustment assistance for displaced workers; bigger government investments in career and technical education, particularly for incumbent workers; greater coordination among governments, businesses and schools so that workers have the right skills to fill gaps in the workforce; and increased public support for research into innovations that will lead to more jobs.

This is not to say that the energy spent on negotiating labor provisions in trade agreements isn’t time well-spent. What policymakers and the public need to know is what these provisions can — and can’t — do.

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Anne Kim

Anne Kim is a contributing editor to Washington Monthly and the author of Abandoned: America’s Lost Youth and the Crisis of Disconnection, forthcoming in 2020 from the New Press. Her writings on economic opportunity, social policy, and higher education have appeared in numerous national outlets, including the Washington Monthly, the Washington Post, Governing and Atlantic.com, among others. She is a veteran of the think tanks the Progressive Policy Institute and Third Way as well as of Capitol Hill, where she worked for Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN). Anne has a law degree from Duke University and a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

This article originally appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.

shopping

American and Chinese Consumers are Shopping Like There’s No Trade War

What Trade War?

If shoppers are worried about the U.S.-China trade war, it’s not showing up yet in measures of their buying confidence or holiday retail sales.

We are more than a year into dueling tariffs between the United States and China, and we know that tariffs add costs to supply chains, but how much of those costs are passed on the consumer depends on decisions by manufacturers, buyers and retailers as well as the “import-intensity” of the products we buy.

So far, if prices have risen on consumer products, it’s not dampening American appetites to buy. And Chinese consumers don’t rely to a great degree on imports in general, so China’s retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports don’t appear to be the biggest factor in their personal spending either.

Spending and the U.S. Economy

At the end of the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that U.S. consumer spending was on track for $14.67 trillion this year, reaching an all-time high.

Personal expenditures make up 68 percent of the U.S. economy, and it’s consumer spending that’s keeping growth of our economy from slowing further. (By comparison, our “negative net exports” or total exports minus total imports, comprise five percent of U.S. GDP.)

Two-thirds of spending is on services such as housing and health care, which are largely impervious to the trade war. The remaining third is spent on non-durable goods such as clothing and groceries, and on durable goods such as cars and appliances.

Brimming with Confidence

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index is a monthly report on consumer attitudes and buying intentions. Despite analysts’ expectations that concerns related to trade disputes would cause U.S. consumers to become cautious, the index shows a trend of rising consumer confidence since 2009.

Breaking Records Online

Retail sales figures tell us whether that confidence is translating into spending. Indeed, American consumers are still filling their real and virtual shopping carts to the brim.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), more than 165 million people were expected to shop over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Online sales for last holiday weekend are already being reported and appear to be breaking records.

Americans spent $7.4 billion online on Black Friday, up 19.6 percent from last year. We spent another $3.6 billion on Small Business Saturday, up 18 percent from last year. And while surfing from our desks at work, Americans spent $9.2 billon on Cyber Monday, up 16.9 percent from last year. More than half of Americans surveyed by NRF said they start their holiday shopping the first week of November. Online sales for November came in at a whopping $72.1 billion.

Chinese Consumers Outspent Us All

Cyber Monday is so successful in driving online sales in the United States that Canada, the UK and Germany have all adopted Cyber Monday to kick off their holiday shopping seasons. Australia launched “Click Frenzy” day. The Netherlands’ equivalent is linked to the December 5 Sinterklaas holiday.

But hands down, the world’s largest 24-hour online shopping day goes to China’s Singles Day held on November 11 annually. This year, Chinese online shoppers bought $38.3 billion on Singles Day alone. Think of it this way – that’s more than $1 billion every hour.

This is not a one-day phenomenon. If you were to overlay China’s consumer confidence index with that of the United States, they would look similar. Despite being slightly lower for China and with a dip in 2016 that we didn’t see in the United States, consumer confidence rose between 2014 and remained high in 2019, trade war notwithstanding. In mid-2019, retail spending in China surpassed retail spending in the United States for this first time.

Retail Spending in China Exceeds US

Beyond the Tariff Headlines

Financial analysts are watching China’s consumer spending carefully amidst the trade war. Many said this summer’s drop in car purchases was a harbinger that shoppers are growing wary, but the slowdown also coincided with the end of big discounts. Others say retail sales actually underestimate the strength of China’s overall consumer spending because those numbers offer just a partial picture of personal spending on goods and services, which include large expenditures on healthcare, education and leisure activities.

For this reason, some prominent Chinese investors are nonplussed by the Trump Administration’s tariffs. They look at a decline in certain manufacturing and exports as a structural shift in China’s economy – an “economic rebalancing” – that began long before the current trade war. In their view, household consumption will drive most of China’s future economic growth, and China’s consumer spending is not very dependent on imports.

According to World Bank data, consumer imports comprise just 13 percent of China’s overall imports. Most of the large multinational consumer goods companies now produce in China for the Chinese consumer. According to McKinsey analysis, across key consumer categories including personal digital devices and personal care products, Chinese brands have become credible competitors to foreign brands, acquiring greater market share – and shielding Chinese consumers from tariffs on U.S. imports.

Consumer Spending to Play Bigger Role in China’s Growth

Consumption is playing a much larger role in China’s economic growth than just a few years ago. In 2011, consumer spending accounted for less than 50 percent of China’s GDP growth. Last year, it accounted for 76 percent of GDP growth, outpacing both manufacturing investment and exports.

In fact, China’s total exports of goods and services as a percentage of GDP has dropped from a high of 36 percent in 2006 to 19.5 percent in 2018, with exports to the United States at just four percent.

That why China’s central bank is also monitoring consumer sentiment. In recently released results from its biennial survey of 18,600 residents in 31 provinces, nearly 80 percent of respondents expressed caution about spending and a preference for saving.

China’s politburo has directed the government to focus on turning up the tap of consumer spending by China’s growing urban middle class and to kick-start spending in rural areas. The government already cut personal income taxes and began offering subsidies for large ticket energy-saving home appliances and energy efficient vehicles. The government is expected to announce more measures in the coming months designed to goose household spending.

WB Chart Title China Exports as % of GDP

Business is Ill at Ease

Economists worry the trade war is causing a drag on economic growth, not just in the United States and China but globally. Businesses say the trade war with its escalating tariffs is a “wild card” in their planning. Uncertainty is causing them to hold back on capital expenditures.

It’s looking less likely the United States and China will agree to a “Phase 1” trade deal by the end of the year, but even if they do, the partial deal may not be enough to restore business confidence. If businesses continue to hold back on investments and reduce inventories, it could start to negatively impact jobs and incomes. This may be particularly true in China where a larger portion of the population is dependent on manufacturing jobs.

Consumers Keep Calm and Shop On

Meanwhile, holiday shopping is in full swing. Some holiday merchandise is already subject to tariffs on Chinese imports, but the tariffs the United States plans to impose on December 15 will affect many more consumer products. If imposed, buyers and retailers will have to decide how much cost to pass on to their suppliers and consumers in the coming year.

For now, shoppers are keeping calm and shopping on with resilience. But as a last line of defense against slowing growth, their confidence can be fragile. Where the trade war is concerned, buyer beware.

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Andrea Durkin is the Editor-in-Chief of TradeVistas and Founder of Sparkplug, LLC. Ms. Durkin previously served as a U.S. Government trade negotiator and has proudly taught international trade policy and negotiations for the last fourteen years as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program.

This article originally appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.

trade

Trade and the Impact on Imports and Exports in 2020

Significant and sustained increases in the world trade index (an index measuring the number of times the word uncertainty or its variants are mentioned in Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) reports at a country level) should be a worry for many as “the increase in trade uncertainty observed in the first quarter could be enough to reduce global growth by up to 0.75 percentage points in 2019”[1]

In August, the US Institute for supply management[2] latest report shows a contraction in production, purchasing, and employment indices.

Ahir, H, N Bloom, and D Furceri (2019), “The global economy hit by higher uncertainty”, VoxEU.org. https://voxeu.org/article/trade-uncertainty-rising-and-can-harm-global-economy

 

Uncertainty generated from Brexit, the US-China trade war, Japan – South Korea trade wars, and general discontentment with global trend towards widening income inequality is creating a toxic mix for politicians to deal with. The irony is the conventional approach of blaming your trading partners for your problems is only likely to exacerbate a general lack of confidence and increase further uncertainty.

The current round of the G7 summit in Biarritz concluded with support “to overhaul the WTO to improve effectiveness with regard to intellectual property protection, to settle disputes more swiftly and to eliminate unfair trade practices.” In essence, it’s signaling a need to strengthen the capabilities of the WTO to act faster and more decisively in resolving disputes that are even more political than structural in nature, requiring a more multi-faceted engagement approach. Whilst this may help in the long-run, in reality, companies will have to contend with uncertainty in global trade for some time to come as well as the impacts on the real economy from these disputes.

And all of this is happening as IMO 2020 approaches, the January 1, 2020, date by which the International Maritime Organization mandates a switch to lower sulfur fuels in order to achieve an 80% reduction in sulfur emissions leading to significant cost increases in the shipping goods via ocean freight (initial estimates between 180USD – 420 USD per TEU dependent on routing, base fuel costs, carrier).

So given the significant uncertainty around global trade agreements, the increasing use of trade as a political football, the increasing costs to trade and the shortening of product lifecycles as customers want faster, newer more differentiated offerings. Is it still worth it?

Of course this is very much dependent on what industry you are in. Whether you’re a global manufacturer or a wholesaler sourcing goods, your perspectives may be different based on investments made, sensitivity to current trade/tariff measures, customer demands, your markets, and the degree to which you are exposed to political debate and targeting.

However, I would offer that the benefits of specialization, economies of scale and unique factors of production that have underpinned global trade still exist as Adam Smith put it in 1776:

“By means of glasses, hotbeds, and hot walls, very good grapes can be raised in Scotland, and very good wine too can be made of them at about thirty times the expense for which at least equally good can be brought from foreign countries. Would it be a reasonable law to prohibit the importation of all foreign wines, merely to encourage the making of claret and burgundy in Scotland?”[1]

Today this simple analogy still holds true in skills, competences, capabilities, and access to markets and insights so that over time the expectation is that trade will prevail.

While the recent outlook has been gloomy, opportunities for 2020 include a resolution to a number of ongoing disputes and a final settlement on Brexit (we hope). Additionally, the maturation in technologies such as blockchain, process automation, forecasting and demand management solutions can also offset costs associated with IMO and support greater agility in the uncertain supply-chain world that we currently live in.

Indeed, if 2019 was the year of trade uncertainty, 2020 could be a restorative year in our ability to execute global trade.

Partnering with an experienced supply chain leader will be essential to minimizing cost increases while ensuring the efficient flow of your company’s goods and services.

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[1] World Economic Forum:https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/07/how-trade-uncertainty-is-impacting-the-global-economy/

[2]https://www.instituteforsupplymanagement.org/ismreport/mfgrob.cfm?SSO=1

[3]Adam Smith: Wealth of nations 1776

Neil Wheeldon is the Vice Presidents Solutions, BDP International.

vietnam

Is Vietnam the Next China: Myth vs. Reality

The ongoing US-China trade war has brought a renewed urgency in recent months resulting in my crisscrossing this tiny nation from the northern capital of Hanoi to the country’s economic epicenter to the south, Ho Chi Minh City – formerly known as Saigon, and every stop in between. Once viewed as an emerging market with potential, Vietnam today is considered the hottest “go-to” sourcing destination as supply chains uproot from China and President Trump and President Xi continue to work out their disagreements.

However, despite logging thousands of miles of travel and spending days upon days conducting factory audits in the remotest corners of the country, I’ve discovered Vietnam’s manufacturing industry and export products may not live up to the hype as China’s best alternative.

Myth #1: Vietnam manufacturing is on par with China.

One striking difference I noticed immediately is that Vietnam’s manufacturing is at least 10-15 years behind China. On my factory tours, I witnessed outdated machinery, lack of modern equipment and saw few signs of the latest supply chain best practices, including LEAN certification standards and supply chain manufacturing principles in action. In my daily research on vetting manufacturers, I consistently come across poorly designed websites- if I am lucky to find one at all, sales pages listing professional contacts using Gmail and Yahoo accounts, and often encounter few staff members who can converse or speak English well. These deficiencies contribute to the challenging task of sourcing products meeting global export standards.

Myth #2: Vietnam’s pricing is cheaper than China.  

With labor about one-third of China, the cost of living and land is much cheaper than its northern neighbor, many falsely believe that Vietnam-made products automatically translate into big savings.

There are three contributing factors:

1. In nearly every industry, Vietnam lacks quality raw materials and must import them from China, thereby, increasing costs

2.  As new foreign direct investments set record highs, industrial park land costs have increased dramatically to coincide with this boom

3. Manufacturers (well aware that the US-China trade war has put American buyers in a corner) have raised their prices accordingly.

These all contribute to the drowning out of any major cost savings. In my experience, several times North American buyers have responded that my Vietnam price offer is wildly off the mark and not competitive with their current China suppliers, China tariff included. 

Myth #3: In Vietnam, you can expect to find everything as in China.

In the world of manufacturing and supply chain, I constantly hear: “Just start sourcing from Vietnam.” That would be all fine and dandy assuming an apples to apples comparison, but Vietnam is anything but China. Over the past two decades, China has perfected their manufacturing and supply chains to the point of employing robotics and automation churning out sophisticated products by the millions. Just take a trip to the hugely popular Canton Fair or attend one of the hundreds of trade shows and expos throughout the year; you will find every product imaginable, in every variant and color, too.

Furthermore, China has the most up-to-date and modern infrastructure—from container ports, highways, railways, and warehouses—to deliver goods globally. In contrast, Vietnam only in recent years has started to emerge onto the manufacturing scene, known mostly for light furniture, textiles, sewing, and electronics parts. 

Exasperated by the US-China trade war, Vietnam’s manufacturing industry has been red hot, however, it’s not an equivalent replacement for China. Buyers can expect less-than-stellar quality products and choices than what China offers, met with challenging business practices and frustration due to the lack of manufacturing transparency, data, and information. While Vietnam might be a manufacturing dream destination for many of your gains, it might be just that in the end: a pipe dream. 

China

Amid US-China Trade Battle, Here is how America can Remain the World’s Strongest Economy

The Communist Party of China has laid plans for a century of unlimited Chinese power and, with it, the end of the American era. However, we still can — and must — bet big on the future of American economic power. The best antidote to China’s ambitions is to ensure America’s continued economic and technological preeminence.

Far too many strategists, investors, and policymakers accept China’s economic preeminence as an inevitable outcome, given the country’s enormous population and potential for growth.

As the business community looks toward a “partial trade deal” to unwind tariffs and reduce trade hostility between the world’s two largest economies, we must understand that non-negotiable problems in U.S.-China relations will accelerate if China closes the gap with the United States in terms of economic and technological power. With the right strategic mindset and a focus on domestic productivity, America can not only win the economic and technological contest but also turn the tide in the U.S.-China competition for global power.

China’s bid for global power is built on its economic ascendency, which is based on engagement with the United States and our allies. Chinese companies are capturing global markets and climbing the ranks of the Fortune Global 500 by taking advantage of stolen or coerced foreign intellectual property and state-orchestrated market distortions. The Communist Party is converting China’s technological power into a dystopian surveillance state and a military that is focusing its capabilities on the United States and our partners.

Chairman Xi Jinping calls regularly for Chinese forces to “prepare to fight and win wars,” while converting civilian industrial technology into military power through “civil-military fusion.” Meanwhile, China’s current account surplus is employed for global influence, buying “strategic partners” with intercontinental projects like the “Belt and Road Initiative” and state-backed acquisitions of foreign firms.

U.S.-China competition is likely to be the hardest geopolitical contest in generations — but it is a contest that the United States can win if we focus on the right objectives.

The People’s Republic of China is a challenge to America’s values and concept of world order. U.S.-China competition is likely to be the hardest geopolitical contest in generations — but it is a contest that the United States can win if we focus on the right objectives. So, where do we go from here?

Focus on GDP

The first step must be a focus on accelerating U.S. productivity growth. U.S. productivity growth need only increase from 1.3 percent a year to 2.5 percent for U.S. GDP to remain ahead of China’s for the entirety of the 2020s, the decade in which many expect China’s economy to surpass America’s.

By 2030, economic leadership will be easier to maintain as China’s demographic problems set in. Such a productivity increase is realistic, given that productivity growth from 1995 to 2008 was higher than 2.5 percent.

Protect America’s edge

The second step is to preserve our edge in advanced and emerging technologies. America must remain ahead of Communist China, not only in hard sciences, but also in the actual production of advanced goods and services.

If America competes against China only through soybean and oil production, we will fail to counter China in advanced industries such as robotics, semiconductors, aerospace and biopharmaceuticals. China is gaining in these and other technologies and industries and could eventually have a decisive advantage over the United States.

As Alexander Hamilton warned 200 years ago, America can’t be great if it is a “hewer of wood and drawer of water.” We must out-invent and outproduce China in advanced technology and industrial goods.

Maintaining U.S. advantage will require collaboration between government and corporations towards national goals in science, engineering and industry. This approach has long served our nation in times of international struggle and led to lasting commercial and national security breakthroughs.

New and Big

In order to attain these goals, Washington must think new and big. New in the sense of a bipartisan consensus that productivity growth and technological competitiveness must be national priorities.

Big in the sense of big and bold proposals. Here are three: First, implement a robust research, development and investment tax credit that will stimulate innovation and investment on American soil. Second, establish a series of well-funded “moonshot” goals to ensure American leadership in emerging industries such as advanced robotics and quantum computing. Third, develop a national productivity strategy that will take the best ideas of government and industry and focus on building the next $10 trillion in annual U.S. GDP by 2030.

Half a century ago, under the leadership of President John F. Kennedy, America faced a Communist superpower that believed that it would “bury” the United States, much as Chinese Communist leaders today believe that the 21st century belongs to China. Kennedy reminded us then that America would “bear any burden” and “meet any hardship” to prevail in that consequential time.

In the end, it was the power of the American economy, the power of American technology, and the power of American industry that brought victory over our ambitious foe. We must unleash these forces once again, wrestle them into national service, and build on toward the greater good — an American era that can and must prevail.

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Dr. Jonathan D.T. Ward is the author of “China’s Vision of Victory” and founder of Atlas Organization, a strategy consultancy on US-China global competition. Follow him on Twitter @jonathandtward

Dr. Robert D. Atkinson is the president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and the author of “Big is Beautiful: Debunking the Mythology of Small Business.” Follow him on Twitter @robatkinsonITIF..

This article originally appeared on FoxBusiness.com. Republished with permission. 

trade

How U.S. Trade Policies are Speeding the Development of a Multi-Polar Global Economy

Several years in to the multi-front trade conflict led by the current U.S. administration, the world economy teeters on the edge of a possible recession.  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that up to $700 billion in global trade could be wiped off the books by the end of next year due to the trade war.  Much of the direct loss, of course, is tied to reduced trade between the U.S. and China, but other trading regions, such as the rest of Asia and Europe, are impacted by this global slowdown.  How is this shaping future trade flows?

Of course, there are some immediate winners in this tussle between the two economic giants.  Countries such as Mexico and Vietnam have seen sharp increase in trade as businesses scramble to find new production sites that would allow them to duck tariffs. Hidden behind these headlines, however, is perhaps a more important story; the rapid development of a multi-polar global economy.

Observers wringing their hands over the U.S.-China trade dispute may have missed what else is going on in the world.  Europe has been negotiating trade agreements at a rapid clip, finalizing deals with Canada, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, several African regions and South America (MERCOSUR) over the last three years.  Africa is launching the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a 54-nation trade block that is hoped will dramatically increase inter-African trade. After a snub from the U.S., the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was retitled the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and is now an active free trade area among 11 partner nations.  Asian countries are considering a 16-nation trade pact called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).  In brief, world leaders are not sitting on their hands waiting for the U.S.-China dispute to get resolved.  They are seizing opportunities to trade elsewhere.

World demographics make this multi-polar trading system inevitable.  Despite the United States’ tremendous economic power, it represents less than five percent of the world population. Although it is a wealthy sliver of the overall market, that means that 95% of the world’s consumers still reside elsewhere.  Over the next few decades, rapid population growth in Asia and Africa will continue to change these market numbers, with 79% of the world’s consumers residing in Africa or Asia by 2050. The global middle class will continue to grow outside of ‘traditional markets’ and by 2030, over half of the world population will be considered middle class.  Some estimates suggesting that over 90% of future middle class growth will come in Asia and Africa. 

This dramatic surge in wealth and consumer spending power outside of Europe, the U.S. and Japan demands more infrastructure to support logistics.  China’s initiatives to help itself carve out a primary role in developing these new markets through the Belt and Road program are well known, but Europe has also jumped into the seize a piece of the action, especially in Africa, and programs to upgrade infrastructure at the state level are fueling building from South America to the Philippines. 

It’s my expectation global trade will become even more fragmented over the next decades,” notes European logistics expert Louis Coenders, owner of the Dutch advising firm De Transportheker, which has been consulting on transportation, warehousing, and global distribution since 2010 and has stressed to clients the growing importance of diversity in logistics as the world becomes multipolar.  “You cannot rely on one single source. From a risk management perspective, it’s never smart to put all your eggs into one basket. That also applies to international trade.”  Coenders further noted that the growing middle class in places like Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa will encourage infrastructure changes to bring products into these markets as consumer spending rises.  For the moment China has an edge into many of these areas, as illustrated by the first train shipments from Alibaba arriving into Liege, Belgium just last week as twice-a-week rail shipments are now sent directly from China to the EU courtesy of the improved rail system.

When the U.S. resolves its trade disputes with China (and potentially the EU, Turkey, Russia and other targets of the current administration), it will find that the unintended consequence of this long-term conflict is that the world has by necessity sped up economic exchanges, and adjusted trading systems and flows to accommodate this new multi-polar world.  While some of the trade may ‘come back’ to the United States, the changes in world population and fast-paced creation of new free trade blocks outside of North America means that other markets will seize this opportunity to deepen their trade relations and the U.S. will find itself in a more competitive and varied trading environment. This change was inevitable, but the recent trade war has sped up its development.  Agile, strategic companies will react to this market change by diversifying and partnering with colleagues in the growing markets of Africa and Asia. Those that are slow to change will find it hard to remain competitive in this brave new trade world.

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Kirk Samson is the owner of Samson Atlantic LLC, a Chicago-based international business consulting company which offers market research, political risk assessment, and international expansion assistance.  Mr. Samson is a former U.S. diplomat and international law advisor who lived and worked in ten different countries.

kiwi

Global Kiwi Fruit Market 2019 – New Zealand and Italy are the Leading Exporters of Kiwi Fruits

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Kiwi Fruits – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The global kiwi fruit market revenue amounted to $7.6B in 2018. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).

Consumption By Country

China (2.3M tonnes) constituted the country with the largest volume of kiwi fruit consumption, comprising approx. 51% of total consumption. Moreover, kiwi fruit consumption in China exceeded the figures recorded by the world’s second-largest consumer, Italy (314K tonnes), sevenfold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by Iran (248K tonnes), with a 5.5% share.

From 2007 to 2018, the average annual growth rate of volume in China amounted to +6.1%. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Italy (+8.8% per year) and Iran (+7.8% per year).

In value terms, China ($3.9B) led the market, alone. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Italy ($529M). It was followed by Spain.

Market Forecast 2019-2025

Driven by increasing demand for kiwi fruit worldwide, the market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next seven-year period. Market performance is forecast to decelerate, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +3.9% for the seven-year period from 2018 to 2025, which is projected to bring the market volume to 5.9M tonnes by the end of 2025.

Production 2007-2018

In 2018, approx. 4.3M tonnes of kiwi fruit were produced worldwide; increasing by 4.4% against the previous year. Overall, the total output indicated a prominent increase from 2007 to 2018: its volume increased at an average annual rate of +4.8% over the last eleven-year period. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, kiwi fruit production decreased by -5.1% against 2016 indices. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2015 when production volume increased by 15% against the previous year. The global kiwi fruit production peaked at 4.5M tonnes in 2016; however, from 2017 to 2018, production failed to regain its momentum. The general positive trend in terms of kiwi fruit output was largely conditioned by a strong expansion of the harvested area and a relatively flat trend pattern in yield figures.

In value terms, kiwi fruit production stood at $7.5B in 2018 estimated in export prices. Over the period under review, kiwi fruit production continues to indicate a prominent expansion. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2008 when production volume increased by 30% against the previous year. The global kiwi fruit production peaked in 2018 and is expected to retain its growth in the near future.

Production By Country

China (2.1M tonnes) constituted the country with the largest volume of kiwi fruit production, accounting for 50% of total production. Moreover, kiwi fruit production in China exceeded the figures recorded by the world’s second-largest producer, Italy (555K tonnes), fourfold. New Zealand (437K tonnes) ranked third in terms of total production with a 10% share.

In China, kiwi fruit production expanded at an average annual rate of +5.4% over the period from 2007-2018. The remaining producing countries recorded the following average annual rates of production growth: Italy (+2.6% per year) and New Zealand (+1.1% per year).

Harvested Area 2007-2018

In 2018, the global harvested area of kiwi fruit stood at 260K ha, increasing by 5.1% against the previous year. In general, the total harvested area indicated a resilient expansion from 2007 to 2018: its figure increased at an average annual rate of +4.7% over the last eleven years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, kiwi fruit harvested area decreased by -6.7% against 2016 indices. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2013 when harvested area increased by 29% year-to-year. Over the period under review, the harvested area dedicated to kiwi fruit production reached its maximum at 279K ha in 2016; however, from 2017 to 2018, harvested area stood at a somewhat lower figure.

Yield 2007-2018

Global average kiwi fruit yield totaled 16 tonne per ha in 2018, stabilizing at the previous year. Over the period under review, the kiwi fruit yield, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2014 with an increase of 11% y-o-y. Over the period under review, the average kiwi fruit yield reached its peak figure level at 17 tonne per ha in 2008; however, from 2009 to 2018, yield failed to regain its momentum.

Exports 2007-2018

In 2018, the global exports of kiwi fruit stood at 1.4M tonnes, waning by -2.4% against the previous year. The total export volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.7% from 2007 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with only minor fluctuations being observed over the period under review. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2015 when exports increased by 22% against the previous year. The global exports peaked at 1.7M tonnes in 2016; however, from 2017 to 2018, exports remained at a lower figure.

In value terms, kiwi fruit exports amounted to $2.8B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. In general, the total exports indicated a remarkable expansion from 2007 to 2018: its value increased at an average annual rate of +1.7% over the last eleven-year period. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, kiwi fruit exports increased by +34.1% against 2014 indices. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2008 with an increase of 26% y-o-y. The global exports peaked in 2018 and are expected to retain its growth in the near future.

Exports by Country

New Zealand (417K tonnes) and Italy (289K tonnes) were the key exporters of kiwi fruit in 2018, resulting at near 29% and 20% of total exports, respectively. Chile (183K tonnes) held the next position in the ranking, followed by Greece (135K tonnes), Belgium (109K tonnes) and Iran (93K tonnes). All these countries together took near 36% share of total exports. Germany (31K tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main exporting countries, was attained by Iran, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, New Zealand ($1.2B) remains the largest kiwi fruit supplier worldwide, comprising 42% of global exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Italy ($518M), with a 18% share of global exports. It was followed by Belgium, with a 11% share.

From 2007 to 2018, the average annual rate of growth in terms of value in New Zealand stood at +7.0%. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Italy (+2.3% per year) and Belgium (+2.2% per year).

Export Prices by Country

The average kiwi fruit export price stood at $1,994 per tonne in 2018, growing by 3.8% against the previous year. Over the last eleven years, it increased at an average annual rate of +3.2%. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2014 when the average export price increased by 22% y-o-y. Over the period under review, the average export prices for kiwi fruit attained their maximum in 2018 and is likely to see steady growth in the immediate term.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major exporting countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was New Zealand ($2,885 per tonne), while Iran ($1,015 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Iran, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports 2007-2018

In 2018, the amount of kiwi fruit imported worldwide totaled 1.7M tonnes, picking up by 3.9% against the previous year. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +3.6% over the period from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded over the period under review. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2015 with an increase of 17% year-to-year. The global imports peaked in 2018 and are likely to continue its growth in the near future.

In value terms, kiwi fruit imports stood at $3B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. In general, the total imports indicated a buoyant increase from 2007 to 2018: its value increased at an average annual rate of +3.6% over the last eleven-year period. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, kiwi fruit imports increased by +47.9% against 2013 indices. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2008 when imports increased by 23% year-to-year. The global imports peaked in 2018 and are likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

Imports by Country

Spain (221K tonnes), China (182K tonnes), Belgium (156K tonnes), Japan (106K tonnes), Germany (96K tonnes), the Netherlands (79K tonnes), France (78K tonnes), Russia (72K tonnes), the U.S. (69K tonnes), Italy (48K tonnes), Taiwan, Chinese (42K tonnes) and South Korea (33K tonnes) represented roughly 72% of total imports of kiwi fruit in 2018.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by China, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Japan ($371M), China ($369M) and Spain ($285M) were the countries with the highest levels of imports in 2018, together accounting for 34% of global imports.

Among the main importing countries, China experienced the highest growth rate of imports, over the last eleven-year period, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Import Prices by Country

The average kiwi fruit import price stood at $1,806 per tonne in 2018, picking up by 4.3% against the previous year. Over the period from 2007 to 2018, it increased at an average annual rate of +2.1%. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2008 when the average import price increased by 18% against the previous year. The global import price peaked at $1,875 per tonne in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2018, import prices stood at a somewhat lower figure.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major importing countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Japan ($3,493 per tonne), while Russia ($1,070 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Taiwan, Chinese, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform