The Kiel Institute presented a new indicator for international trade. The calculations are based on real-time-data from container ships, which are evaluated by using artificial intelligence.
he Kiel Trade Indicator estimates the trade flows (imports and exports) of 75 countries worldwide. The world map shows an expected increase or decrease for the individual countries.
Estimated are the unilateral trade flows of a country with the rest of the world. The Kiel Trade Indicator is updated around the 3rd and 20th of each month.
The Kiel Trade Indicator is based on the evaluation of ship movement data in real time. An algorithm programmed at the Kiel Institute uses artificial intelligence to analyze the data and translates the ship movements into nominal, seasonally adjusted growth figures compared with the previous month.
Arriving and departing ships are recorded for 500 ports worldwide. In addition, ship movements in 100 maritime regions are analyzed and the effective utilization of container ships is derived from draught information. Country-port correlations can be used to generate forecasts, even for countries without their own deep-sea ports.
As far as May is concerned, the indicator says that:
The months-long catch-up process in global trade is likely to be interrupted across a broad front in May for the first time in around a year
The Kiel Trade Indicator signals stagnation or a decline in imports and exports for Germany, the EU, the USA, China and also global trade as a whole. It can therefore be assumed that shortages of certain goods will also continue for the time being.
The indicator values for the aforementioned countries all show only moderate swings in May, which are both within the normal range of fluctuation in trade and within the forecasting error. However, the indicators hint at a break in the upward trend in trade flows that has been ongoing for months. This could be due to the fact that demand for shipping containers currently exceeds supply and is driving up transport prices. Shortages of certain products and raw materials could also contribute to the break in the trend
concluded Vincent Stamer, Head of Kiel Trade Indicator.