UNCTAD: Global trade recovery expected to remain subdued in 2022

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), has indicated that the recovery in world trade is expected to be moderate in 2022, after reaching a record level of 28.5 trillion dollars in 2021.

In a report published on Thursday, UNCTAD noted that world trade grew by 25% year on year in 2021 to reach a record $28.5 trillion, after being battered by the Covid-19 pandemic, and “this level should however remain moderate this year”.

“As these trends are likely to subside, international trade trends are expected to normalize over the course of 2022,” UNCTAD explained, noting that rising commodity prices, reduced restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic Covid-19 and the strong recovery in demand due to economic stimulus packages have boosted growth.

Overall, the value of world trade increased by 13% compared to 2019. This increase is reflected in the level of trade volume in the goods and services divisions, which followed similar growth patterns last year.

In the fourth quarter of last year, trade in goods reached about $5.8 trillion, a new quarterly record. Meanwhile, trade in services increased by $50 billion to $1.6 trillion, slightly higher than before the pandemic.

The positive trend in trade is mainly the result of an increase in “commodity prices, the easing of pandemic-related restrictions and a strong recovery in demand thanks to economic stimulus measures”. However, as these trends are expected to ease in the coming months, international trade trends are expected to normalize this year, according to UNCTAD.

The regionalization of trade flows is also expected to intensify in other parts of the world, in line with other regional initiatives – such as the African Continental Free Trade Area – and due to growing reliance on geographically-based suppliers. closer.

“Trade in goods is growing more strongly in the developing world than in the developed countries,” says UNCTAD.

In general, trade in goods has increased more strongly in the developing world than in the developed countries. Developing countries have thus fared better than wealthy nations in terms of trade.

Exports from developing markets in the last quarter grew by more than 30% on an annual basis, according to the UN agency, with “stronger growth in commodity-exporting regions, with rising price of these products.

In addition, trade growth among developing countries outpaced world trade in the fourth quarter, with an annual increase of around 32%. In developed economies, exports were 15% higher.

Over the past few months, the coronavirus crisis has exacerbated supply chain bottlenecks. It highlighted significant challenges in the logistics industry, with many freight customers struggling to find shipping containers and overcome labor disruptions.

Separately, UNCTAD estimates that global trade is likely to be affected by various factors this year, including slower-than-expected economic growth, continued supply chain disruptions, growing concerns over debt sustainability, the transition to a greener global economy, trade agreements and the regionalization of trade.



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