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Global trade latest news

Global trade latest news round up

GLOBAL TRADE LATEST NEWS: COVID 19 impact on world trade

Let us start with some good news! World trade rebounded much faster from Covid19 than it did from the world financial crisis of 2009, spending only 4 quarters in recession compared to 10 for the world financial crisis. The recession was also significantly less deep with trade down by around 20% at the worst point of the pandemic compared to over 30% during the world financial crisis

In fact world trade held up well even during the initial economic disruption caused by the first wave of Covid 19 in 2020, this was largely due to the economies of Asia who responded quickly to the threat of the pandemic and were therefore able to reopen quickly and respond to booming international demand for medical products caused by the pandemic. The first quarter of 2021 has seen a bounce back for world trade with the value of products and services exported increasing by around 4% compared to the last quarter of 2020 and by 10% year on year.

Global trade is now at a higher level than it was pre pandemic which is great news. Trade of services does remain below pre-pandemic levels but this is more than offset by the strong performance of product exports and the outlook is positive.

GLOBAL TRADE LATEST NEWS: Outlook for the next 12 months

The outlook for 2021 is expected to be strong as most economies have learned to live with the pandemic and function despite it. However, the recovery is expected to be uneven with economic powerhouses United States of America and China driving growth and the countries whose economy and trade is closest linked to them expected to benefit the most. So we can expect that Canada, Mexico and the countries of South East Asia will also bounce back strongly this year with many developing economies recovering only in 2022.

There are on-going challenges to international trade such as the continued disruption of the pandemic, container shortages and increased freight costs. These problems will continue to slow growth and are also likely to increase the trends of reshoring and nearshoring. Reshoring and nearshoring have increased during the pandemic due to the high levels of uncertainty which in turn has created a need to shift production nearer to end consumers.

GLOBAL TRADE LATEST NEWS: Rising stars of world trade

There are some very suprising names among the world fastest growing exporter countries. An analysis based on the last 5 years figures gives us a list of eight countries that increased their export sales by over 200%. These countries are Niue, Kiribati, Haiti, Central African Republic, Micronesia, Guinea, Togo and Afghanistan. Countries achieving excellent growth over the last year’s figures include Liberia, Sierra Leone and East Timor.

GLOBAL TRADE LATEST NEWS: Top imports of 2020

The most in demand goods in 2019-2020 were:

  1. Crude oil: $1.056 billion (Down -12.1% from 2018 to 2019)
  2. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $848.9 billion (Down -1.4%)
  3. Cars: $774.3 billion (Down -1.6%)
  4. Processed petroleum oils: $663.6 billion (Down -14.2%)
  5. Phone system devices including smartphones: $600.6 billion (Down -7%)
  6. Medication mixes in dosage: $405.9 billion (Up 4.6%)
  7. Automobile parts/accessories: $400.1 billion (Down -4.8%)
  8. Computers, optical readers: $382.4 billion (Down -3.6%)
  9. Petroleum gases: $314.8 billion (Down -13%)
  10. Gold (unwrought): $306.2 billion (Up 0.1%)
  11. Blood fractions (including antisera): $210 billion (Up 8%)
  12. Turbo-jets: $184.8 billion (Up 11.1%)
  13. Trucks: $145.4 billion (Down -0.2%)
  14. Iron ores, concentrates: $144.5 billion (Up 23.6%)
  15. Electro-medical equipment (e.g. xrays): $137.9 billion (Up 7.6%)
  16. Aircraft, spacecraft: $137.5 billion (Down -3.1%)
  17. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $132 billion (Down -13.7%)
  18. Computer parts, accessories: $129.5 billion (Down -7.5%)
  19. Insulated wire/cable: $127.7 billion (Down -3.4%)
  20. Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $120.6 billion (Up 1.2%)

A full list of the top imports of 2020 can be found on this link:


GLOBAL TRADE LATEST NEWS: UK – Australia deal agreed and Ukraine and UK free trade agreement making waves

Brexit threatened to be a major problem for United Kingdom trade but the UK government has now agreed or is in advanced talks on an impressive 60 trade deals opening up new export and import opportunities for many countries.

One of the most successful of the UK’s new trade deals is the Free Trade Area  Agreement with Ukraine. In the first 3 months of 2021 trade between the two countries rose by 33% year on year. Trade between the two countries was also well balanced with Ukraine exporting 221 million USD and importing 232 million USD equivalent from the UK.

The United Kingdom has now agreed its first post Brexit trade agreement negotiated completely from scratch. The deal is with Australia and was finalised in negotations between Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minster Scott Morrsion. Boris Johnson said the deal represented a ‘new dawn in the UK’s relationship with Australia underpinned by our shared history and common values’.

The final deal is expected to be very comprehensive with the UK aiming to sell cars, whiskey and confectionery to Australia. One sticking point has been meat exports with UK farmers worried about new meat exports from Australia undercutting them on cost.

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