The Strategist

WTO notes slowdown in global trade

05/24/2022 - 04:27

According to the World Trade Organization's Commodity Trade Barometer, events in Ukraine and a coronavirus outbreak in China slowed global trade growth in the first half of this year.

jan buchholtz
jan buchholtz
The world trade index, according to WTO analysts, is now at 99.0 points, with a baseline value of 100. This is slightly higher than the index of 98.7 in February.

"In the first half of 2022, the crisis in Ukraine and recent pandemic-related lockdowns in China appear to be stifling global commerce. The present value of 99.0 for the index, which is a real-time forecast aggregation of indicators, is slightly below the baseline value of 100, indicating sustained moderate growth in trade," the report states.

As the organization noted, the expected growth in merchandise trade was likely interrupted by the conflict in Ukraine, which caused a sharp rise in food and energy prices, and China's imposition of severe lockdowns to combat the new COVID-19 outbreak further disrupted trade and production.

Most barometer indicators are reported to be close to or above the baseline of 100 points, such as export orders (101.2), automotive products (101.5), airfares (99.9) and raw materials (99.5). At the same time, only container shipments remain firmly below trend, at 95 points.