In the first quarter, volumes were up 1.4 per cent against the final quarter of 2016, when imports and exports increased by 1.7 per cent from the previous quarter, according to data from the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
The bureau's monthly CPB World Trade Monitor, released in late May, showed that world trade momentum stood at 1.4 per cent in March, compared to 2.1 per cent in February, while world industrial production rose 0.3 per cent month on month, compared to 0.2 per cent in February. In the first quarter, growth stood at 0.6 per cent, down from 1.2 per cent in Q4 2016.
In addition, world industrial production momentum slipped to 0.6 per cent in March, compared with 0.9 per cent the previous month, reported American Shipper.
The first quarter's results have raised optimism that world trade flows are rebounding given that first quarter throughput rose by a combined 5.8 per cent at the 150 ports worldwide surveyed by shipping analyst Alphaliner.
Furthermore, recent data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that demand for air freight was up 11 per cent in the first quarter compared to the same quarter in 2016.