The number of completed long-term trade finance deals in the first half of the year was just 18, compared with 102 in the same period last year, according to Dealogic’s latest report.

Global trade finance volumes, including trade finance, ECA, structured commodity, and supply chain financing, reached US$90.4bn in 1H 2012, an increase of 7% from H1 2011. However, activity fell to 329 deals, down 49% in H1 2011 when 648 deals were completed.

Trade flow volumes, which represent short-term facilities and letters of credit, fell to US$18.5bn with 94 deals signed in H1 2012 − down from 392 deals totalling US$27.8bn in H1 2011.

Trade finance volumes- including sole-bank loans – also took a battering in the first half of the year; volumes fell by 78% year-on-year to US$6.4bn compared with US$28.3bn in H1 2011.

However, trade finance volumes − excluding sole-bank loans − increased to US$64.1bn in H1 2012, up 12% from the same period last year (US$57.3bn). This is the highest half year volume since H2 2010 (US$82.7bn), Dealogic reports.

ECA financing volumes have also offset the dip in trade finance volumes. They reached US$60.3bn via 186 deals in H1 2012, up on the US$28.5bn raised H1 2011.

Meanwhile, ECA guarantee activity fell to 154 deals in H1 2012 from 210 in H1 2011. The volume of guarantees experienced a similar trend, and fell by 19% year-on-year to US$26.9bn from US$31.8bn.

Pre-export loan volumes saw the lowest first half volume since H1 2010 (US$3.2bn) with just US$2.4bn via 11 deals in the
same period last year.

The largest trade finance deal to be completed in H1 2012 was a US$10bn facility signed with Belarusian borrower

Topping the ECA finance ranking for H1 2012 is HSBC, which racked up US$3.7bn-worth of loans, followed by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group with US$3.5bn.

HSBC also topped the total global trade finance ranking (including sole bank loans) with a 5.5% share, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group followed with a 5.3% share.

In terms of countries, Australia recorded the highest volume of trade finance in H1 2012 with US$11.7bn. Belarus and Turkey followed with US$10bn and US$6.4bn respectively.