WTO - Trade set to plunge as COVID-19 pandemic upends global economy

08 April 2020 |

World merchandise trade is set to plummet by between 13 and 32% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A 2021 recovery in trade is expected, but dependent on the duration of the outbreak and the effectiveness of the policy responses. Nearly all regions will suffer double-digit declines in trade volumes in 2020, with exports from North America and Asia hit hardest. Trade will likely fall steeper in sectors with complex value chains, particularly electronics and automotive products. Services trade may be most directly affected by COVID-19 through transport and travel restrictions.Merchandise trade volume already fell by 0.1% in 2019, weighed down by trade tensions and slowing economic growth. The dollar value of world merchandise exports in 2019 fell by 3% to US$ 18.89 trillion.The value of commercial services exports rose 2% to US$ 6.03 trillion in 2019.

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