Global Trade August 2015 March 2018 issue

Global Trade August 2015

News, events and analyses related to global trade and snippets of changing trade matrix during the month of July 2015


Watch Exports


Clash of the titans


Looks like Swiss watches are no longer the apple of consumers’ eyes! In the month of May 2015, the category’s exports saw its biggest y-o-y fall in over five years. Industry observers claim this drop had a lot to do with the launch of Apple’s smartwatch. According to the Federation of Swiss Watch Industry (FSWI), in May, shipments fell 8.9% to just over 1.7 billion Swiss francs ($1.9 billion), which is the largest y-o-y drop since November, 2009. While some claim that Apple’s smartwatch has started impacting the demand for Swiss watches within a month of its launch, FSWI attributed the fall to a strong franc, which it claims is affecting the competitiveness of Swiss products in the international market.

It’s worth noting that Switzerland is, by far, the biggest watches and clocks exporter in the world, with exports worth $24.3 billion in CY2014, which is more than double of what 2nd ranked Hong Kong could manage.[sociallocker id="9714"]

Watch Exports2




Fruit exports

When it rains, it needn’t pour


Australian exporters had an interesting few weeks as almost immediately after Indonesia refused to issue import permits to its citrus fruits, Vietnam lifted its existing ban on the same! This put to rest Australian experts’ fears that Indonesia’s decision will not only impact its citrus fruit growers, but also those involved in growing other fruits and vegetables and lead to a contagion. It’s worth noting that Indonesia is the 4th biggest importer of citrus fruits from Australia, with imports worth $19.3 million in CY2014.

But while Australian fruit industry insiders and policymakers were trying to find a way out of this crisis, came the good news that Vietnam had lifted a ban instituted on the imports of oranges, mandarins and table grapes from Australia. This more than offseted their concerns as before imposing the ban in January this year, Vietnam was a major importer of fruits from the land down under, with almost $27.6 million worth of just grape imports in CY2014. They wouldn’t have believed their luck, isn’t it?



Olive oil

An oily vicious circle

As the Greek crisis moves from bad to worse, its relations with the European Central Bank (ECB) sour and bank shutdowns become daily affairs in the country, its olive farmers have started refusing to part with their produce until they are paid in cash. This, as they fear confiscation, given that the Greek government is running from pillar to post to meet its debt obligations and avoid a default. What this has done, though, is paralyse the country’s olive oil industry, which is a significant contributor to not just its exports and taxes, but also a significant source of employment. And while the rest of the world watches this domino with horror, there are fears that olive oil prices might shoot up all over the world, given that Greece is the 4th biggest exporter of it.

Greece's virgin olive oil exports-The Dollar Business



Geographical Indication protection

Scotch gets African backing


It’s a piece of news that deserves a toast! For the first time in history, an African country has recognised Scotch whisky as a Geographical Indication (GI), which ensures the restriction of the use of the word ‘Scotch’ to only whisky produced in Scotland. Terming the development in Botswana ‘ground breaking’, The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has claimed that the legal protection will boost exports of the liquor to not only the southern African country, but also to the whole of Africa. [SWA figures revealed that export value of Scotch to Bostwana stood at nearly £457,000 in 2014 (approx. $713,000) representing a growth of 163%.] It’s worth noting that despite 70 countries all over the world recognising Scotch as a GI, mislabelling continues to be rampant, which is acting as a big dampener to the spirits of the whisky industry in the United Kingdom.



Apple exports

Who said it’s all about health?


Chile – the world’s fourth largest apple producer – has reported a massive fall in its apple exports in the first six months of 2015 on account of irregular colour on the fruit, which the country has blamed on harsh weather. According to official figures, the country managed to export just 4.1 lakh MT of the fruit in H1CY2015, as compared to 5.3 lakh MT during the same period last year. While, officially, this big drop is being blamed on frost in the month of November, which was followed by excessive heat in the summer, giving an irregular colour to the fruit, some reports claim that widescale uprooting of older orchards to compete in the international market had led to a big drop in production, which inevitably led to lower exports.

Chile's fresh apple exports-The Dollar Business



Beef imports

Meaty issues? No more...

Perhaps good times ahead for meat and free market. The United States has lifted a 14-year-old ban on import of beef from Argentina, which it had imposed after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the South American country in 2001. The ban had impacted Argentina’s exports to the tune of $1.6 billion. Industry experts claim the decision to lift the ban will help it compete with neighbouring Uruguay, which is one of the top exporters of beef to US. Apart from Argentina, US has also given the green signal to the import of beef from 14 states of Brazil. It’s worth noting that with imports worth $3.03 billion in CY2014, US is by far the biggest importer of beef in the world, sourced mostly from Australia, New Zealand, Nicaragua and Uruguay, and as per the US Department of Agriculture’s beef trade outlook forecast, will continue to remain so atleast until 2017, with Russia & Japan behind it.



Mango Export Ban

Mangoes under scanner


Checking for the presence of fruit fly larve will be top on Pakistani officials’ minds the next time a mango consignment ships out of the Islamic nation’s shores to any European Union country. This, to avoid a possible ban in the world’s most lucrative fresh fruit market, given the fact that three interception cases have already come to light in the United Kingdom in recent months, one in June and two in July. Two more interceptions and Pakistan will be stopped from shipping its mangoes to the whole of the European Union. It’s worth noting that Pakistan had exported over $57.3 million worth of mangoes in CY2013, a quarter of it to the United Kingdom, but exports fell sharply in CY2014 and might fall further if fruit fly concerns don’t fade away.