Post-Brexit trade losses and the transportation of goods by sea
According to the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Dublin, the UK’s exit from the European Union reduced the potential value of UK goods exported to Europe by 16% in 2021, while EU exports to the UK are likely to fall by 20%. UK exports to Ireland (a drop by 40%), Spain (32%), Sweden (25%) and Germany (24%) were most affected. The estimated value of exports from EU countries to the UK fell most sharply in case of Malta (46%), Finland (33%), France and Greece (29% each), the Netherlands (27%), Belgium (26%) and Poland (21%).
After two years of port congestion and container shortages, the situation in international freight by sea is normalising due, among other aspects, to the declining pace of Chinese exports and weakening demand from Western economies. The Drewry World Container Index on 20 October this year – the benchmark for container prices – was US$3383 for a 40ft container. This is 67% lower than in September 2021. Freight rates on the main routes: Shanghai-Rotterdam and Shanghai-New York, in turn, declined by up to 13%.
Japan recorded a trade deficit for the 14th consecutive month, with exports and imports reaching record levels. The falling value of the yen has contributed to the rising cost of energy, food and other imports, valued in September this year at US$72.7 billion (almost 46% higher than in September 2021), while the value of exports was US$58.7 billion. Despite this, the Bank of Japan is maintaining its negative interest rate policy.