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Exports of intermediate goods grew 21%

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World exports of intermediate goods continued to grow in the fourth quarter of 2021, registering a year-on-year increase of 21%, according to a WTO report.

Thus, these sales continue the upward trend observed throughout the year.

However, growth was slower than the 27% recorded in the third quarter and 47% in the second quarter.

The pace of trade in intermediate goods, ranging from crops used in food production to textiles and metals needed to produce goods, is an indicator of the level of activity in supply chains.

World exports of intermediate goods continued to grow in the fourth quarter of 2021, registering a year-on-year increase of 21%, according to a WTO report.

“Other industrial supplies”, which comprises manufacturing inputs such as metal structures, electrical conductors, and medical and pharmaceutical products, continued to be the main driver of growth, rising 31% year-over-year in the fourth quarter.

World food and beverage exports grew slightly less, posting 23% growth in the fourth quarter compared to 28% in the third quarter.

Minerals and gemstones grew 10% in the fourth quarter, down from 13% in the third quarter and 40% in the second quarter, mainly due to the persistent decline in iron ore prices.

Intermediate goods

In particular, according to the WTO, Asian and African exports of industrial inputs to supply chains increased by more than 24% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, while European exports of inputs grew 18%.

North American intermediate goods exports advanced 14.5%, largely driven by soybean exports to China.

But South and Central America saw exports of intermediate goods decline by 12%, mostly due to a reduction in Brazilian exports of iron ore and soybeans to China.

China continued to be the leading exporter of intermediate goods in the fourth quarter in value terms, exporting $418 billion worth of products.

Among the top 15 exporters of these products in the fourth quarter of 2021, Belgium (39%) and the United Kingdom (34%) recorded the highest growth.

Malaysia joined the top 15 list, posting 28% year-on-year growth, with three quarters of its domestically produced inputs shipped to Asian partners.

The main importers of intermediate goods in the fourth quarter in value terms were China ($439 billion) and the United States ($268 billion).

Among the top 15 importers of these goods, India posted the highest growth (42 percent).

 

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