Australian trade fell 7% as a direct result of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, making Australia the worst-hit country behind Japan.
The figures, released as part of Capgemini Consulting’s Global Trade Flow Index, indicate a decline in global trade flow levels, due to the disaster in Japan, and the resulting effect on trade with major economies.
The Index highlights that the Japan earthquake led to a steep decline in Japan’s economy in Q1 2011, with a fall in GDP of 8.6% and a reduction in its foreign market export of 29% and domestic market by 7% on a quarter-on-quarter basis. This in turn has had a severe impact on trade with major economies.
Australia was most heavily impacted, with a fall in trade volumes of 7%. Korea (4% reduction), the US (3% reduction) and China (2% reduction) have also been significantly affected, the report said.
Interestingly, another effect of the earthquake has been a rise in the prices of oil and natural gas which is impacting economies around the world, according to Capgemini.
In Russia, as a major exporter in this area, this has actually led to growth in GDP of 4.7% quarter-on-quarter.