Photo: AFP

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Ahead of the highly anticipated meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping this week, which will decide the trajectory of the world’s most consequential trading relationship, there are signs that a contraction in global trade is deepening.

September data just released by the Netherlands Central Planning Bureau show a clear deceleration in global trade, with Europe and Japan showing the weakest results.

Shipping rate data from Thomson Reuters also showed the trend extending into November.

From Reuters on Monday:

“More than 90 percent of all products are taken from producer to consumer by ship.

“Here, rates for containers CHT-IDX-HARPX, which carry finished goods, and rates for dry-bulk vessels carrying raw materials like coal or iron ore. BADI, have slumped by 26.4 percent and 38.35 percent respectively from their 2018 highs as shipping stalls amid the economic headwinds.”

“Slowing U.S. growth would dampen demand for exports from Asia … possibly weighing on freight,” Singapore shipping brokerage Eastport said on Monday.”

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