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27% dip in global goods trade in Q2: UNCTAD

On Thursday, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said that the value of international trade in goods declined around 5% in the first quarter of 2020. The UN trade body added that during the month of April, developing countries in South Asia and the Middle East suffered the steepest decline in exports; while those in East Asia and the Pacific experienced the least  contraction in exports. 

The international trade organisation said that albeit world trade was already slowing down prior to the Covid-19, the economic and social disruptions brought by its global outbreak are bringing about a dramatic decline in trade. The study revealed that though trade in medical goods such as ventilators, monitors, thermometers, hand sanitizers, protective masks and garments contracted at the onset of the pandemic, but then increased in February and March and almost doubled in April 2020.

UNCTAD also said that it will drop further by 27% in the ongoing quarter with trade in many developing countries projected to go for a toss due to the “unprecedented effects of the pandemic”. These estimates are in line with those of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which anticipates global merchandise trade to shrink by 13-32% in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.