International trade statistics: trends in third quarter 2023


G20 merchandise trade contracts again in Q3 2023, while services trade growth appears to flatten

Download the entire news release (including graphs and tables PDF) 

23 Nov 2023 - G20 merchandise trade contracted in value terms in Q3 2023, compared to the previous quarter and measured in current US dollars (Figure 1 and 2). Following on a decrease recorded last quarter, exports and imports fell again by 1.2% and 2.1%, respectively, reflecting a continued slowdown most notably in East Asia and Europe. Merchandise exports declined by 1.5% in the European Union, and by more than 2.0% in Germany and France, largely due to lower sales of machinery and transport equipment. Merchandise trade also contracted in East Asia, with China experiencing a 6.1% drop in exports partly driven by machinery and steel products, and a 3.5% drop in imports. Exports were only slightly negative in Japan (down 0.7%) and increased in Korea (up 1.2%), driven by strong automobile sales. Imports declined in both Japan and Korea, following a reduction in imports of energy products. Lower sales of primary commodities impacted exports from Australia and Indonesia. North America defied the trend, recording a rebound in exports, especially in the United States, primarily due to robust trade in the automotive and energy sectors. 

Preliminary estimates[1] point to flat growth for G20 trade in services in Q3 2023, compared to the previous quarter and measured in current US dollars (Figure 1 and 2). Services exports and imports are estimated to have grown at just 0.1% and 0.2% in Q3 2023, respectively, following the 1.1% and 1.0% growth recorded in Q2 2023. In the United States, services exports rose by 1.8%, due to higher sales of travel and business services, while imports grew by only 0.2%. Services exports increased by 0.8% in Canada, while imports expanded markedly (up 3.3%), mostly driven by travel. In Germany, services exports grew slightly, while imports fell in line with lower travel expenditures. In France, a strong increase in travel expenditures drove up services imports (2.9%), while exports remained flat. The United Kingdom recorded a marked increase in services exports and imports (2.9% and 3.7%), driven by dynamic trade in business services in both cases. Transport services, and freight in particular, weighed on services exports from East Asia, which contracted sharply in Japan, China and Korea. Conversely, an uptick in travel drove import growth in Korea and Japan. In Brazil, services exports expanded by 5.1%, driven by travel and telecommunication services, while imports grew by 2.0%.


Visit OECD Data to explore these data: Trade in goods | Trade in services


 Visit OECD Data to explore these data.  


Visit OECD Data to explore these data.



 1. The Q3 2023 trade in services values are preliminary estimates based on available data, covering at least 60% of exports and imports for the G20 aggregate which does not include African Union countries, except for South Africa.



Follow us on Twitter @OECD_Stat Follow us on Linked, OECD Statistics


Related Documents