Exports from China, the United States and the European Union grew at double-digit year-on-year rates in the first half of 2021, according to data from the World Trade Organization (WTO).
More than anything, this is because of the very low base of comparison that the same months of 2020 constitute.
For this reason, these rates would moderate over the course of the year and, according to the WTO, the volume of trade would grow, on average, 8% in 2021.
At the regional and country level, the highest growth in the first four months of the year has occurred in China, where it is 28% higher than in the same period of the previous year.
In a recent report, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) stated that this is due both to the base effect and to the rise to new historical levels.
Exports from China
In terms of categories, those that have benefited from higher demand due to the closure of activities continue to show greater dynamism.
In particular, for example, China’s exports of electronics, furniture and toys are at levels almost 30% above those recorded prior to the pandemic; while, by contrast, exports of goods such as automobiles have been basically stagnant for six months.
Despite the rapid return to growth, ECLAC added, world trade has been facing a number of risks from a supply point of view during 2021.
These risks are associated with the shortage of some raw materials and goods, bottlenecks in infrastructure and logistics channels, the alteration of transport flows, the lack of availability of workers as a result of the pandemic and the extension of deadlines for transportation due to new sanitary regulations and higher freight costs to historic levels.
From the ECLAC angle, these imbalances could continue until 2022 and, in some cases, could even affect demand.