September Data: Global Trade Declines

  • By Josh Green
  • · October 14, 2009
  • ·

The word from Panjiva’s research team: global trade activity declined in September.  Specifically, from August to September, there was a 5% decline in the number of global manufacturers shipping to the U.S. market. Similarly, there was a 4% decline in the number of U.S. companies receiving waterborne shipments from global manufacturers.

September Data - Global Trade Declines

These declines are the steepest we’ve seen since February, when global trade hit bottom, and would seem to confirm that American businesses have modest expectations for the coming holiday shopping season.

Pessimists will take note that it was last year’s August-September decline that marked the beginning of global trade’s six-month decline.  However, we probably won’t see a repeat of last year’s global trade free-fall unless we get another macro shock to the financial system.  (For an interesting perspective on where we may be headed, check out the SpendMatters blog.)  A couple of positive items from our team’s latest analysis:

  • The percentage of significant manufacturers on the Panjiva Watch List declined slightly from 28% to 27%.
  • Similarly, the percentage of significant buyers having done business with a Panjiva Watch List supplier in the preceding three months declined slightly from 38% to 37%.

Methodological notes for the data junkies:

  • Manufacturers that have suffered a 50% or greater decline in volume shipped to American customers in the most recent three month period, versus the same period a year ago, are on the Panjiva Watch List.
  • “Significant manufacturers” are companies that have sent 10 or more shipments to American customers within the last year.  As of the end of August, there were 86,663 significant manufacturers.
  • “Significant buyers” are U.S. companies that have received 10 or more shipments from overseas manufacturers within the last year.  As of the end of August, there were 73,904 significant buyers.

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