The volume of global merchandise trade dropped by 14.30 per cent in the second quarter of the current year due to Covid-19, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Merchandise trade is measured as the average of exports and imports.
The latest trade contraction, fallout of Covid-19 containment measures that affected economies around the world, is sharper than the 10.20 per cent drop recorded during the financial crisis between the third quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009, said the multilateral trade body.
The steepest declines were recorded in Europe with 21 per cent drop and followed by North America with decline in 20 per cent. Asia was relatively less affected as the region’s merchandise trade declined by 7.0 per cent.
“The nominal dollar value of merchandise trade also plunged in the second quarter, falling by 21.0 per cent year-on-year,” added a press statement of the WTO.
“In comparison, the decline in merchandise trade values during the financial crisis was deeper with a 33.0 per cent drop recorded in the second quarter of 2009,” it added.
Earlier in June this year, WTO projected that the volume of merchandise trade may shrank by 18.50 per cent in the second quarter.
World Trade Statistical Review 2020, released by the WTO in July, unveiled that world merchandise trade in volume terms recorded a slight decline of 0.1 per cent in 2019 after rising by 2.9 per cent in 2018.
In value terms, trade declined by 3.0 per cent to US$19.05 trillion compared to 10.2 per cent increase in 2018.