Global Trade Likely to Grow 86% in 15 Years: HSBC

electricity generation leads global tradeWorld trade will grow 86% in the next 15 years, according to the latest HSBC Trade Forecast. The quarterly report reveals some interesting facts:

  • We won’t see any signs of this boom in the short term, the report says. “The world economy is expected to slow down during 2012 as the risks of contagion from the euro crisis, the impact of natural disasters during 2011 and the sluggish growth in developed economies persists.”
  • “The Trade Forecast predicts that the fastest emerging trade sector is electrical energy, where annualised growth will be 9.14% over the next five years.” That includes services and equipment related to solar, wind, hydro and the like—“all energy generated from non-fossil fuel sources.”
  • Look for manufacturing advantages in China’s neighbors, “particularly India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.”
  • China’s imports will rise dramatically, suggesting real opportunities for U.S. manufacturers.

“What this forecast does for me is it tells me what a huge opportunity trade presents for companies in the U.S.,” says HSBC’s Christopher Lewis. “Overseas is really where the growth is, and you can see that in that 15-year cycle”—the one indicating 86% growth, he means. “We can see that because we’re an international bank, of course. We just wish everybody else would see it.

U.S.: A Net Exporter of Gasoline for First Time Since 1949

Looking for another sign of globalization: “Last year, U.S. refiners shipped millions more gallons of gasoline and diesel than they imported—the first time that’s happened since 1949,” reports Jeffrey Tomich of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“The trend represents a huge shift in the trade of petroleum products, one that’s being driven by the same forces that have turned other commodity markets upside down in recent years: Energy-hungry economies in places like China and India.”