World exports presented a 4% drop in value terms and year-on-year in the third quarter of 2020, the World Trade Organization (WTO) reported this Friday.
By region, exports from North America decreased 11%, those from Central and South America decreased 10% and those from Europe and Asia decreased 2%, at an annual rate.
Measured in value, world exports of products presented interannual drops of 6% in the first quarter of 2020 and of 21% in the second quarter of the same year.
World exports had decreased by 9% in the last quarter of 2019.
In its other mediation, in the third quarter, the volume of merchandise trade contracted 12.7% in the second quarter of 2020 (revised up from an initially estimated decrease of 14.3 percent).
According to the WTO, the volume of world merchandise trade during the first three quarters of 2020 fell 8.2% compared to the same period last year.
This drop is less than the projected 9.2% drop for all of 2020 in the most recent WTO trade forecast, but full-year growth largely depends on whether the recent resurgence of Covid-19 affects trade in the fourth trimester.
According to data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Covid-19 cases have skyrocketed worldwide since September, particularly in Europe, which accounts for more than 35% of global merchandise trade.
Preliminary merchandise trade values also indicate slower trade growth in October compared to September.
Quarterly merchandise trade volume indices for the fourth quarter will be released in spring 2021, along with annual WTO trade statistics and forecasts.