International merchandise trade rose by +9.5% in 2018 according to LogIndex, the data company of Kuehne + Nagel, despite the trade dispute between the two largest economies and a slowdown in momentum over the course of the year.
The growth is only slightly below the 2017 rate (+9.7%).
In December, the Americas were the regions with the strongest growth rates, followed by Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
The gKNi World Trade Indicator powered by LogIndex AG stood at 138.6 at the end of December 2018, up +4.0% from 2017 and down -1.3% compared to November 2018.
Latin America (+9.5%) and North America (+4.9%) were the best performers in December 2018, followed by Asia and Europe.
According to the near real-time shipper analytics based on customs data, the imports to the United States rose in December 2018, particularly for computers, vehicles, electronic products and capital goods in general - except for products for the semiconductor industry.
Despite new tariffs, 2018 was a solid year.
Measured in nominal USD terms, the World Trade Indicator increased by 9.5%, almost at the same pace as 2017 (+9.7%), and remarkably higher than 2016 (-3.3%) or 2015 (-9.3%).
The jump in 2018 was caused by volume growth (around 4%) as well as higher prices and US dollar change.
In ocean freight, measured by the live throughput of ports, the unit volume increased in December (+0.8% MoM), after a decline in November (-1.2%). Overall, sea freight rose by +2.9% last year.
The cargo and container throughput in U.S. ports increased by +4.0% in 2018. The Chinese ports recorded a growth rate of +2.8%.
Read more: World Trade Suffering Under Trade War