World goods trade grows by quarter in 2010: WTO

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The value of world merchandise trade rose 25 percent in the first quarter of 2010, fuelled mainly by demand from Asia and higher commodity prices, World Trade Organization data showed Wednesday.

Exports from the United States and Europe were up about a fifth compared to the same period last year, while those from China gained 29 percent.

African and Middle-Eastern exports showed a leap of 53 percent while those of the former Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States jumped 54 percent.

"Fuelled by Asia's demand and commodity prices, exports of Africa, the Middle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States were more than 50 percent higher than in the corresponding period of 2009," the WTO noted.

Demand growth was most marked in Asian giants China and India.

China posted a 65 percent jump in imports from a year ago, while India imported 55 percent more, helping to lift imports to Asia by 45 percent over January to March 2008.

Meanwhile, commodity prices were also sharply higher, with crude oil up over 70 percent and metals prices almost 60 percent more than a year ago.

© 2010 AFP

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