Import and Export statistics of 2021
On 30 November, UNCTAD published a report that in the third quarter of 2021, International import and export 2021 set a new quarterly record, and the value of items hits $5.6 trillion.
The update of the organization’s Global Trade in November edition shows that trade in goods and services reaching $28 trillion in 2021. As compared to 2022, It is an increase of 23% and 11% compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.
But trade’s overall strong performance differed in different countries and sectors, and recovery was uneven. The good results of international trade in 2021 resulted from the retrieval of economic stimulus packages, subsiding pandemic restrictions and increases in commodity prices. These results show the forecast for 2022 remains very uncertain.
Best yet uneven growth
The overall growth was good, but trade in some services such as tourism remained slow due to pre-pandemic levels at $6 trillion in 2021. If we look upon the manufacturing sectors, the most growth in energy-related products grew due to increases and demand in the price of fossil fuels. But, in the third quarter of 2021, trade remains muted in many sectors due to the global shortage of the automotive industry, electronics and semiconductors. From a regional perspective, the growth of goods was uneven in the third quarter of 2021. That’s why, in the first half of the year, regional differences were less pronounced. In the developing, the trade flow was more substantial while in the developed countries it was low and this trend remains constant at the end of the year.
In East Asian developing economies, the trade was more substantial in the first quarter of 2021, and in the developing countries, the trade becomes broader in Q3 2021. Besides this, in the third quarter of 2021, the trade growth was lower for East Asian economies than developing countries. For example, the trade remains constant in 2021 and goes to a high level, while in India, the trade goes at an accelerated level.
Impacts of 2021 trade on 2022
Reports say that the growth in the third quarter of 2021 was below expectations, contributing to the uncertainty about 2022. Lower-than-expected economic growth affects directly downward global trade trends. These inflationary pressures impact negatively international trade flows and national economies.
Many economies continue to face COVID-19-related disruptions in the European Union, and its trade will affect consumer demand next year. The market unpredictable and large swings in 2021, and stress on spiraling shipping costs and supply chain continue into the following year. In 2021, the backlogs across the significant supply chain will continue into 2022, so trade will reshape flows worldwide and negatively affect trade. In Asia-Pacific and Africa, the trade pattern will change as regional trade due to Geopolitical factors and trade will divert from other routes. It will cause a continued shortage of semiconductors.
Because of persisting supply constraints and unanticipated surges in demand, the semiconductor industry is going downside before the COVID-19 pandemic. If this pandemic remains the same, this shortage will badly affect trade and production in many manufacturing sectors.