The turn of the decade brought with it unprecedented times. The outbreak and global spread of Covid-19 disrupted all aspects of everyday life. While small businesses saw an opportunity by manufacturing pandemic related products like sanitizers and PPE kits, export import business came to a standstill at one point, caused by the lockdowns, supply-chain disruptions and shipping container fiasco that skyrocketed product shipping costs. While the now post-pandemic world is dealing with a new problem in the wake of Russia-Ukraine war, the international trade arena is finding new and innovative ways to change the global human consumption patterns with the introduction of new & exciting ecologically viable and environment-friendly products
This decade will indeed see a remarkably balanced combination of both quintessential and innovative export products that are thriving by the day to permanently change the international trade landscape.
In this blog, we will learn about the product categories and items that will find new export markets owing to the changing trends and consumer behavior. As more than 80% of business leaders are considering locating manufacturing in Asia, Africa and the Middle East in the next five to ten years, a major shift is coming and the business world is preparing itself to deal with it.
“Global trade is set to grow by 70 per cent over the next decade, with a shift towards more inclusive and sustainable practices”, Chief Executive, Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking at Standard Chartered Bank.
Speaking of sustainability, the global commitment to combat climate change saw a boost when newly elected US President Joe Biden signed the instrument to bring the United States back to the 2015 Paris Agreement on his very first day in the office, thereby sending a strong message to the world about the seriousness of the issue and the world leaders’ allegiance to it. In fact the past few years have seen a rising change in conscious consumerism, coupled with the development and implementation of the global governance standards for sustainability.
Riding on the wave of environmental consciousness are the products that will aim to decrease the world’s reliance on fossil fuels. Headlining this category are-
- Electric cars- Nikola Tesla’s 1887 idea of alternating current induction motor finally came to a full-fledged use a century later when several world governments introduced bills to recommend use of electric vehicles as a way to combat air pollution. However, the high costs as compared to their IC engine counterparts kept the global demand of electric cars merely an optimistic idea. But flash forward to the 2020s and almost every automobile brand now has a range of EVs. Countries like China and India are further propelling the demand with slow yet steady market expansion for such products. Germany, United States, South Korea, Belgium and Slovakia have led the way in exports of electric cars but with its new $1 trillion merchandise exports aim by 2030, India is delving into the arena of electric cars manufacture and exports.
Northern European nations- Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark and Finland lead imports but their widespread use in China and other Asian nations along with the North American continent make electric vehicles one of the most widely exported products to watch out for this decade.
- Solar Panels, Solar Cells and other components – The green wave will also propel demand, production and exports of solar panels and solar cells. In the case of solar panels, India has benefited so far, mostly due to the ongoing trade war between USA and China, importing parts like photovoltaic cells, silicon and solar inverter from China and adding value domestically to export finished products to the US.
The US, China, India, Germany and Japan lead production but it will be nations like Australia, Indonesia and India that will truly benefit from the installations of solar panels since these nations enjoy so much sunlight on average per year. Europe, at the moment, is dominating the solar energy market owing to the clean energy policies and rising demand of solar panel installations across Germany and Spain.
- Bio Fuels – The United States is leading the pack in the production of biofuels such as ethanol, made entirely from corn. In fact, a third of the total corn production is devoted to the production of Ethanol. Canada and Brazil are leading importers of ethanol. Bio Diesel produced in Argentina and Indonesia has a wide market as well and the demand is going further up with each passing year. China, USA and EU lead imports of biodiesel.
- Precision equipment –The global precision equipment market is expected to grow at an impressive CAGR of 6.6% and cross the US$20 Billion mark by 2028. Medical and scientific equipment have a huge demand in European nations like Germany and Netherlands and also in other leading markets like the United States, United Kingdom and China.
Hong Kong is the undisputed leader in the production of precision equipment. The focus on decreasing downtime and increase production efficiency has resulted in the high demand of precision equipment
Watches and their components are also in demand and both India and USA are increasing their import capacity.
- Medical devices – Medical equipment has a huge market in leading economies. The United States, Japan, United Kingdom and EU, all are spending a considerable amount in the purchase of surgical instruments. Asian nations like Bangladesh and Pakistan have seen a huge increase in medical device suppliers who are out to capture a share of the global export market with high quality imported precision equipment.
Export of heavy machinery and electricals is not new to international trade. However the wave of change has been brought by the technology and its use in media and entertainment. Take for instance the increased demand for –
- Broadcasting equipment– Transmitters, receiving apparatus for Radio & TV have seen a surge in usage. Stage lights, dimmers, spotlights and broadcast booths are also seeing a surge both due to the popularity of social media content as well as podcasts.
- Integrated circuits and semiconductors have seen a rise in demand over the past few years and this is expected to grow further over this decade. Semiconductors alone have totaled a massive US$ 555.9 Billion in 2021 alone and this number is expected to grow at 8.6% CAGR. Singapore is one of the leading manufacturers and exporters of semiconductors. Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong are other export leaders making this one of the most popular export products to come out predominantly from Asia.
The United States, China, Vietnam and Germany lead imports of these products.
- Palm & Olive Oils –Indonesia has controversially increased the production of palm oil despite the damaging consequences to the ecosystem but with this South East Asian powerhouse leading production in palm oil, this is one product that will be high in demand. The production and export of palm oil has further seen a boost due to the limited supply of other popular cooking oil varieties like Sunflower Oil and Soybean Oil from war-torn Ukraine and Russia.
Palm Oil gets a solid competition from another export variety – Olive Oil. A staple in Mediterranean cuisine which is globally popular, Olive Oil’s use and health benefits continue to increase its production in EU nations like Spain, Italy and Portugal. France, the United States & Brazil have imported record quantities of olive oil from Spain and other Olive Oil producing EU countries in the past few years and this trend is likely to continue, especially due to the sudden shortage of Soybean & Sunflower oil amid economic sanctions on Russia.
- Whey powder – A healthy protein supplement to your diet, Whey powder is essentially a byproduct of the cheese making process and is already in high demand, owing to the wave of health-conscious consumerism. EU is ready to meet the projected growth in demand over the next 8-10 years
Another decisive factor of all these products originating in the European Union is its Free Trade Agreement with some of the leading and fast-growing economies of the world- Australia, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Shifting our focus back to Asia, Indonesia is going to see an impressive change in its overall trade surplus this decade, owing to the world’s growing dependency on its many products. Rubber, chemicals continue to be Indonesia’s leading export products and in the last few years, the Hookah culture has given rise to the demand of coal briquettes in Middle East, Africa and Europe.
- Shrimps, Lobsters, Crabs and Cuttlefish –Demand for these crustaceans has seen a meteoric rise over the past decade with India, Ecuador, Indonesia, Canada and Vietnam leading exports. This decade is going to see an even further increase in demand with top imports coming from the United States, China, Japan, Spain and South Korea.
- Poultry Meat – Despite the popularity of the seafood variety, red meat will continue to rule the roost this decade. Poultry meat’s projected growth in the USA alone is reason enough to invest in the supply and distribution of poultry meat. Old faithfuls China, Germany, UK and France will continue to see a rise in domestic consumption of broiler meat thereby proving to be profitable export markets for poultry meat.
- Textiles and apparels – India’s US$1 Trillion merchandise exports target by 2030 is largely dependent on textiles export, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). New players in this market segment include Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam while seasoned export nations like USA, Germany and of course, China will continue to make this one of the most highly exported items this decade
Several export houses are vying for top prize amidst the changing of the guard that the onset of some of these products has brought. With complete focus on environmentally sustainable production and export, these products will surely secure a long-term spot in the GDP of many developed and developing nations hoping for trade surplus in the next decade.
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