WTO: World trade partially recovered

New WTO statistics show that the third quarter of 2020 witnessed a partial recovery of world trade in the industrial goods sector, led by electronics and textiles.

Computer and electronic products saw double-digit trade growth, similarly textile products thanks to increased demand for masks.

However, service trade is still bleak. The second wave of COVID-19 in the fall froze the prospect of recovery, but the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine, with the planned worldwide production, shipping and distribution of vaccines, will help restore trade in services by 2021, by directly or indirectly promoting tourism.

New statistics released by the WTO show that the third quarter of this year saw a partial recovery of world trade in the industrial goods sector, led by electronics and textiles, as production was restored. and COVID-19 blockade measures have been extended in a number of major economies.

However, despite significant progress in recent months, trade in goods and services remains low compared to 2019.

Accordingly, total trade in consumer goods – including fuels and agricultural products as well as manufactured goods in the first 9 months of 2020, decreased by 11% year-on-year, while trade in manufactured goods exports, with prices less volatile than consumer goods, fell 10% in the first 9 months of the year.

The commercial value of fuel and mining products fell sharply in the third quarter due to falling prices while agricultural trade remained stable as food demand remained in the midst of a pandemic. Only in the third quarter of 2020, manufactured goods trade decreased by 5% compared to the same period last year, nearly equal to the pre-pandemic trade level and improved compared to the 19% decrease in the second quarter of 2020.

In contrast, trade in services remained bleak, down 17% in September 2020, after recording a 23% decline in July and 22% decline in August from the same period last year. This figure is based on data from 39 economies accounting for 2/3 of global service trade. The data for the third quarter of 2020 with survey of more economies is expected to be released at the end of January 2021.

Although the decline in trade in services appears to have bottomed out due to the removal of intra-European Union (EU) tourism restrictions in the summer, most economies continue. saw a sharp drop.

In September 2020, services exports from the US decreased by 27% from pre-pandemic levels, while China’s imports of services decreased 18% year-on-year.

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