The slowdown of the international trade market continued in the fourth and final quarter of 2015, according to new figures.
Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has revealed that total international merchandise trade among the G20 bloc of nations fell for the sixth consecutive quarter by 1.6 per cent, while imports were down by 1.9 per cent, representing the seventh straight monthly decline.
Large oil exporters saw particularly pronounced drops in their overseas sales, with Canadian export values declining by 5.4 per cent, Russia seeing a 2.2 per cent fall and Indonesia suffering a 7.9 per cent shortfall, reflecting falling oil prices and an appreciating US dollar.
In terms of imports, South Africa and Brazil saw their figures for the quarter contract by 6.2 per cent and 9.2 per cent respectively, coming close to their lowest levels in six years. India, meanwhile, saw a drop of 8.2 per cent, and the US experienced a fall in imports for the sixth straight quarter, dipping by 2.7 per cent.
Looking at the EU specifically, exports and imports fell by one per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively. Germany, France and the UK all saw year-on-year drops in their export performance, although the latter two nations were able to improve their import figure slightly.
Among all of the G20 economies, only China and Turkey were able to achieve growth in terms of exports and imports in Q4 2015. Their respective export growth figures were measured at 0.3 per cent and 3.3 per cent, while imports rose by one per cent and 4.3 per cent respectively.
For the year as a whole, it was shown that G20 exports fell by 11.3 per cent, while imports dropped by 13 per cent. The data underlines the challenging conditions faced by international trade-focused companies in the months ahead.