Commodity Profit Trends

General characteristics of modern international trade

Growth trends

The beginning of the XXI century. it became significant that the growth of trade and production was the largest since the beginning of the 90s. The reasons for this are the accelerated development of the economic complexes of North America, the developing countries of Asia, and the recovery after stagnation in Latin America and Russia. High results have been achieved in the economies of other states and regions.

Growth in world trade in goods by physical volume in the middle of the first decade of the 21st century was approximately as high as in the most favorable years of the second half of the XX century. For most regions, this indicator ranged from 10 to 15%. In the USA, the growth in merchandise imports still exceeded 10%, but against the background of similar indicators for the main regions of the world, it was by no means the highest. In Latin America, it roughly corresponded to the American, and in Asian states and countries with economies in transition, it exceeded this level

In 2005, computer science and the telecommunications sector developed very dynamically, stimulating general economic growth, investment activity and international trade. Sales of semiconductors in 2005 increased by 37% (to $ 204 billion), mobile phones – by 46% (to 410 million units), PCs – 15% (to 135 million units).

In 2005, global exports of goods grew by 12.5% ​​(i.e., to $ 6,180 billion), and services exports – by 5% (to $ 1,415 billion). Over the past decade, the average annual value in both the first and second cases was approximately the same – 6%.

International trade in services in the middle of the first decade of the XXI century. grew faster than in the 90s. In 2000-2005 the average annual growth was approximately the same as the growth recorded in trade in goods (6%). Prices for services remained unchanged or decreased slightly.

In almost all regions except Western Europe, accelerated growth in exports and imports of services has been recorded. The decline in Western Europe was the result of a depreciation of the euro. When calculated in euros, West European export and import of commercial services increased by 13.5 and 14.5%, respectively. Since inflation was minimal, we can talk about accelerating the growth of trade in services in both nominal and real terms

As foreign trade statistics show, over the past decade and a half there has been a stable and constant growth in world foreign trade turnover, exceeding the rate of GDP growth. This convincingly indicates that all countries are steadily drawn into the system of the international division of labor. World exports more than doubled, increasing from $ 2 trillion in 1980 to 6.3 trillion in 2005.

Structural Shifts in World Trade

The analysis of changes in international trade involves the consideration of two questions: firstly, what are the rates of its growth as a whole (export and import) and regarding the growth of production; secondly, the nature of shifts in the structure of the commodity (the ratio of the main groups of goods and services) and geographical (the share of regions, groups of countries and individual countries).

As for the first, it can be stated: the steady outstripping growth rates of world trade are an indicator of new qualitative signs of international trade associated with an increase in the capacity of world markets. Outperforming, rather high rates of expansion of trade in finished industrial products, and in them machinery and equipment, also increased rates of growth in trade in communications products, electrical and electronic equipment, computers, etc. Finally, the volume and growth rate of the exchange of components and assemblies for units supplied in the production cooperation, within the framework of TNCs, increased even faster. And another dynamic phenomenon is the accelerated growth of international trade in services.

All this could not but affect the radical shifts of both the commodity and geographical structure of the world foreign trade exchange.

Moreover, the share of the main groups of developed, developing and former socialist countries remains practically unchanged over the past 15-20 years. In the first case, these are values ​​of the order of 70-76%, in the second, this value is somewhere in the range of 20-24%, and, finally, for the last group this indicator does not exceed 6-8%.

As for the structural distribution of world foreign trade, an obvious tendency for an increase in the share of finished products looms in commodity exchange. In general, in world trade, the share of manufacturing products, especially machinery, equipment and vehicles, is constantly increasing, and the share of raw materials and mineral fuels, whose production and consumption has stabilized, is decreasing. In general, industrial goods account for 58% of world exports, services – 22%, agricultural products and fossil raw materials – 10% each. For comparison: in the last quarter of the 20th century, raw materials accounted for about 2/3 of exports and only 1/3 for finished products.

Developed countries with a market economy, supplying the world market with the bulk of food, finished industrial products and technologies, are also exporting a growing amount of oil, natural gas, other raw materials and semi-finished products. Among suppliers of energy resources and other commodities, not only Canada, Australia, South Africa, but also Great Britain, Norway, and the Netherlands stand out. At the same time, finished industrial products, including products related to high technologies, account for more than half of the value of exports from developing countries. This is especially true of the new industrial countries of East Asia, India, and many states of Latin America.

International trade is developing towards the widespread use of new forms of marketing orientation. Trade is increasingly associated with international scientific, technical and industrial cooperation, cooperation and specialization of production. Commercial transactions include both purchase and sale, and installation, warranty service of equipment. Compensatory transactions involving the supply and reciprocal delivery of goods over a period of time, including on the basis of production cooperation agreements, have become widespread. The practice of international leasing is developing – early rental of industrial equipment, aircraft, ships, etc.

Classification of the global market for goods

The world market that had taken shape by the beginning of the 21st century is the result of a long development of the internationalization of economic life on the basis of deepening the international division of labor. Economic isolation of individual countries and regions of the world, autarky are today the vestiges of the past. The vast majority of countries in the world seeks to maximize the benefits of international economic cooperation.

The modern world market was formed in the course of a long historical development on the basis of the internal markets of individual, primarily leading, states whose market relationships gradually went beyond national-state borders.

The world market, uniting all national markets, is a sphere of stable commodity-money relations in the general complex of the world economy, based on the development and deepening of the international division of labor and the movement of factors of production between countries.

In international trade, the classification of goods is carried out:

by types of raw materials from which the goods are made;

1. according to the degree of processing of goods;
2. according to the purpose of the goods;
3. at the place of goods in international trade.

International organizations seek to systematize and classify goods that are traded internationally. For example, the third edition of the UN Standard International Trade Classification (SMTC), adopted in 1986, defined the following classifications of a ten-digit coding system for goods: the first digit of the code corresponds to the product section, the next two to the product group, the next two to the product subgroup according to the degree of processing of the product, three penultimate – commodity position for the purpose of the goods, the last three – subpositions at the place of goods in international trade (table. 7.4).


Most important for world trade are markets for mineral commodities, markets for agricultural products and food, markets for finished goods and markets for international services.

In international practice, the following basic concepts are defined.

Commodities – agricultural, forestry, fishing and hunting products or any minerals whose value only slightly depends on processing.

Semi-finished products – products that require further processing or included in other goods before they become an instrument of production or a commodity.

Finished products – all industrial products intended for consumption and use in the household, as well as capital equipment for industry, agriculture and transport, non-durable industrial goods used in industry as materials and fuel.

Finished industrial non-durable goods intended for industry – goods with a useful life of one year or less.

Durable durable goods – products with a shelf life of more than one year, intended for industry, public and private institutions, which are classified as capital equipment, except for weapons classified as goods not elsewhere classified.

Non-durable consumer goods (non-food) – goods with a consumption term of one year or less, including goods used by public and private institutions.

Medium-term goods – goods with a period of use from 1 year to 3 years and with a relatively low cost.

Durable goods – goods with a useful life of more than 3 years, as well as goods with a useful life of 1 year to 3 years, but with a high cost.