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Global Trade Set to Rebound by 2015: HSBC

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Plus, new solar tariffs mean tough times for Chinese producers, and more.

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This column highlights the past week's most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on global trade from around the Web.

"Global Trade Predicted to Rebound, With Emerging Markets Driving Growth"
Among reports of the sluggish world economy, the just-released HSBC Trade Forecast offers a glimmer of hope for future recovery. It sees stronger South-South trade corridors coupled with a reinvigorated developed world breathing new life into global growth through the end of the decade. The BRICs will be joined by a new generation of emerging economies including Vietnam, Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey, Mexico, and Poland, which are expected to see significant growth in trade over the next three years. India is highlighted as a vital linchpin in a remapped global trade network, and seen as the fastest growing import and export partner. Read more at equities.com.

"Argentina's International Trade Disaster"
Over a year ago, the Argentine government decided car importers would have to match their imports with exports. What this meant is that for every car, say, for instance, BMW (ETR:BMW) Group Argentina imported into Argentina, it was forced to resort to exporting a monetarily equivalent amount of car parts and, ridiculously, rice. Similarly, Porsche (ETR:PAH3) suffered the inconvenience of offsetting imports of its luxury sports cars with olives and red wine. Subaru (TYO:9632) exports chicken feed; Hyundai (KRX:005380), flour; and Mitsubishi (TYO:8058), peanuts. Read more at BloombergBusinessweek.

"With China and India Ravenous for Energy, Coal's Future Seems Assured"
Coal fuels 55% of India's power needs. China's ravenous appetite for the combustible sediment is well known. Global demand for coal will likely jump by 10 billion tons to 8.9 billion tons in 2016, and some see coal use being driven up 50% by 2035. While Australia is the world's largest coal exporter, environmental protective regulation could push prices higher there. In the US, mines in Wyoming and Montana are the most productive, yet they lack the proper transportation infrastructure to export coal to other countries. Read more at the New York Times.

[The three largest US coal companies, by production, are Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU), Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI), and Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR).]

"Japan Likely to Embrace Free Trade Pact"
Reports from Japan indicate that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will likely announce his country's desire to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The pact would strengthen ties between Japan and the United States, as fears over China's dominance over the region have plagued both countries. Read more at the Pittsburg Post Gazette.

"The Solar Trade War Has Begun"
Last week, the International Trade Commission put in place tariffs of 24% against Chinese solar module makers Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL) and Suntech Power (NYSE:STP), and 30% for others, like First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) and SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR). This comes as the European Union has ramped up its investigations of the Chinese solar panel industry, and is weighing whether or not to put in place similar duties on the $27 billion in solar products China ships into Europe. Read more at The Motley Fool.

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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