Global trade hits record high of $28.5 trillion in 2021, but likely to be subdued in 2022
(UNCTAD Press Release) UNCTAD’s Global Trade Update published on 17 February shows that in 2021, world trade in goods remained strong and trade in services finally returned to its pre-COVID-19 levels.
“Overall, the value of global trade reached a record level of $28.5 trillion in 2021,” the report says. That’s an increase of 25% on 2020 and 13% higher compared to 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
While most global trade growth took hold during the first half of 2021, progress continued in the year’s second half.
After a relatively slow third quarter, trade growth picked up again in the fourth quarter, when trade in goods increased by almost $200 billion, achieving a new record of $5.8 trillion.
Meanwhile, trade in services rose by $50 billion to reach $1.6 trillion, just above pre-pandemic levels.
The report shows that in the fourth quarter 2021, all major trading economies saw imports and exports rise well above pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
But trade in goods increased more strongly in the developing world than in developed countries.
Exports of developing countries were about 30% higher than during the same period in 2020, compared with 15% for wealthier nations.
The growth was higher in commodity-exporting regions, as commodity prices increased. Moreover, South-South trade growth was above the global average, with a 32% year-on-year increase.
Read more at: UNCTAD