Global Trade May 2016 March 2018 issue

Global Trade May 2016

News, events and analyses related to global trade and snippets of changing trade matrix during the month of April 2016.


Global Growth Forecast

Downgrading, yet again

Citing slowing momentum in Global Trade May 2016developed economies, financial risks and risks of non-economic origin, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) yet again lowered its forecast for global growth as it warned that the “world economy was more exposed to negative risks.” Releasing its April 2016 World Economic Outlook, the Fund downgraded its estimate for global growth to 3.2% for 2016 and 3.5% for 2017. The projections were cut down by 20 basis points from its forecast in January. In January 2016, IMF had projected a global growth of 3.4% in 2016, and 3.6% in 2017 – after cutting down its October forecast for both years by 0.2 percentage point. The revision is the fourth straight cut in a year. Releasing the report titled ‘Too slow for too long’, Maurice Obstfeld, Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department, IMF, said that global growth “continues but at an increasingly disappointing pace.” The Fund also expressed concern over China’s slowdown and weak commodity prices that are impacting emerging markets, though it upgraded China’s growth forecast this year by 0.2% to 6.5%. Interestingly, it lopped 20 basis point off US growth forecast for the 2016 to 2.4%.


Fresh Poultry Trade

The long wait is finally over!

Fresh poultry Trade

Mexico has finally reopened its border for Canadian fresh poultry products including turkey and chicken, especially duck meat, nearly after 12 years since it banned the imports of Canadian poultry into the country following an outbreak of avian influenza in Canada. Canadian authorities estimate that the restored access to Mexican market will fetch them approximately $3 million annually. However, at the moment, the Mexican government still maintains limited avian influenza restrictions – Canadian government said, they’re in talk with the Mexican authorities to remove these barriers at the earliest.

Mexico and Canada, the two countries linked by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), have for long been natural trading partners, with bilateral trade touching $3.8 billion in agricultural and food products in CY2015. It’s worth mentioning that the government, as well as industry officials, from the two countries are planning to meet again in Mexico in May this year, to explore other potential areas of engagements.


Russia-Sri Lanka

Drugs Exports

Treating new markets

Drugs exports

BIOCAD, one of Russia’s leading innovative biotechnology companies, became the first Russian pharmaceutical company to have exported anti-cancer drugs worth about $150 million. Trastuzumab, an anti-tumour drug was shipped to Sri Lanka last month – making it the first-of-its-kind trade deal between Russia and Sri Lanka. Dmitry Morozov, Founder & CEO, BIOCAD, says the drug holds a significant edge over its international competitors, not only because it is affordable but also because it has gone through numerous layers of clinical trials across various international test centres. BIOCAD claims the drug has the same efficacy as its Western peers. Its low price also gives the company an edge over its rivals, especially in economies that are still developing or are under-developed, and where prices matter a lot. The company has already forged several agreements with countries in the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Turkey) region, Latin America, South Africa, and Asia to tap the demand for affordable anti-cancer drugs.

European Union


In a state of quandary... or not?

Amid the raging debate about the European Union (EU) referendum on whether Britain should remain in EU or not, a study commissioned by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), UK’s leading industry body, has found something interesting. It says, voting to leave the Union would cause a ‘serious economic shock’, potentially costing the country £100 billion and nearly one million jobs by 2020, and negative echoes that could last many years thereafter. “This analysis shows very clearly why leaving European Union would be a real blow for living standards, jobs, and growth,” stated CBI Director-General, Carolyn Fairbairn. The EU referendum is slated to be held on June 23, 2016.

Fairbairn suggested that it will be better for UK to stay with EU than off it. “If UK leaves EU without a free trade deal, 90% of British exports to EU, by value, could face tariffs. Some sectors could be hit particularly hard. Under WTO rules, UK textile exports to EU could face tariffs of nearly 10%. Transport equipment could face tariffs of about 7%,” said Fairbairn. Now that’s one really tough decision that Britain needs to take.


Lobster Trade

American shellfish’s Europe invasion


American lobsters might be much sought-after in Sweden’s restaurants but the Scandinavien country doesn’t want them anymore! Sweden wants the European Union to put a blanket ban on the importation of live North American lobsters across the 28-nation bloc to prevent a possible underwater invasion. The country fears that the new lobster could threaten the local species.

Interestingly, Sweden’s Environment Ministry has also strongly recommended that EU should put the lobsters from Maine (the northeasternmost state in US) on its international list of invasive species and should be banned as it may harm and kill European lobsters with diseases and parasites. If approved, the move would close trade of live lobsters between US, Canada and EU. The combined lobster exports from US and Canada stands at roughly $200 million. While the White House has been called upon to resist the ban, the US lobster industry suspects it’s more about business than environment. Well, the move could alone cost Maine almost $11 million a year.



Steel Prices

Beginning of the end of gloom?

Steel Prices

Even as steel prices enjoy a powerful rally following the soaring demand for the metal from China, the analysts have cautioned a correction considering that steel producers may increase production to benefit from the rising demand. It may be noted that Steel Rebar futures in Shanghai jumped by 6% on April 20, 2016, extending a three-day winning to close at a 14-month high. In fact, the steel rallies in 2016 are contrary to last year’s movement when the slowing Chinese economy had hampered the prices. The increasing steel prices also reflect a turnaround from a sombre mood last year. According to Credit Suisse Group AG, demand for steel in China may actually increase by 10% this year. However, the rally is also prompting more output in the top producing nation amid the massive supply glut in the global steel market.