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Reasons for Hope in Global Trade Despite Growing Costs

The rising costs of energy undoubtedly continues to put a burden on businesses around the globe. Still, exporting remains an area of optimism for several of the strongest international economies, as seems to be illustrated by statistics unveiled this week.

In Germany, a trade official said Wednesday that demand in fast-emerging Asian markets was becoming more important to business there than ever, as economic problems mount in European Union nations historically known for buying German products. As such, developing nations in the Far East warrant more attention. Nodding to the reality of the European Union’s deep financial problems, especially among its southern members, BGA President Anton Boerner declared that the EU was “losing importance” as far as export destinations go.

In China, market-watchers were surprised by this week’s news of a near $5.4 billion (USD) trade surplus on surging exports in March. Chinese officials pinned the increase to renewed appetite from U.S.-based buyers at a rate that is higher than expected at this point. China, amid growing concern over lower domestic demand, drew concern of market-watchers by reporting a $31.5 billion trade deficit just one month ago.

Meanwhile, in the United States, exports hit a record high amid demand from the Chinese and the more stable economies within the euro zone. The Obama Administration has been pushing for and easing businesses’ transition into accelerated exporting activity as the domestic economic recovery trudges slowly along. Despite the exporting record this month, it’s not all rosy for U.S. businesses in the trade game – costs of exporting and importing have increased substantial of late, especially in March (see more on this in the current edition of eNews, available late Thursday afternoon).

Brian Shappell, CBA, NACM staff writer