This compares to a 7.2 percent contraction in world trade in 2009.
International trade volumes will continue to increase on pace with the global economic recovery, according to the Second Quarter Trends in World Economy and Trade report from the IHS Global Insight World Trade Service.
Global containerized trade volumes should reach 10 percent, with a slightly stronger recovery at 10.6 percent on the mainline East-West trade lanes in 2010, before slowing over the next two years. Exports from the Far East to North America and Europe bounced back as importers began to re-stock their depleted inventories as sales growth renewed.
According to IHS Global Insight, trade will grow into 2011, but it's expected to be slower than 2010 growth. Still, 2010 and 2011 will be strong years relative to the hardship of 2008 and 2009, with 3 percent and 8 percent growth on TEU volumes, respectively.
World containerized trade measured in 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) increased 9.2 percent in 2010 and is projected to grow at 6.8 percent in 2011.The transatlantic trade lane is comparatively small, although still imbalanced in favor of European exports, and growth rates are susceptible to the moves in the U.S. dollar exchange rate. Particularly sensitive are exports from the U.S. to Europe because of the weaker euro.
Bulk shipping is also showing improvement from a 2.8 percent drop in bulk commodity trade in 2009. IHS Global Insight forecasts bulk commodities to grow in 2010 through 2011. The Baltic Dry Index has been steadily increasing since the beginning of the year, and seasonal demand should also boost bulk exports over the next quarter.
Dry bulk commodity shipment tonnage, which includes grain, iron ore, and coal, will increase 10.3 percent in 2010 and 8.7 percent in 2011.
Liquid bulk trade, which includes petroleum and liquefied natural gas, has also been growing despite short-term supply issues in the U.S. Gulf Coast. This segment should grow 9.9 percent in 2010 and 8.4 percent in 2011. Trade will remain steady, as the oil market remains well-supplied with spare productive capacity of 6 million barrels per day and ample OECD inventories in 2010.