Jakarta: Although global trade is making a frail recovery, the outlook remains uncertain, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said on Wednesday, in announcing its latest covid-era update.
Estimates show that world trade will drop by five per cent in the third quarter of 2020, compared with the 2019 level.
While this is an improvement over the nearly 20 per cent decline in the second quarter of the year, it is still not enough to pull trade out of the red.
Furthermore, UNCTAD expects the value of all good traded to contract by seven to nine percent compared to last year, depending on how the covid-19 pandemic evolves in the winter months.
“The uncertain course of the pandemic will continue aggravating trade prospects in the coming months”, said UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi in a press release issued on Wednesday.
"Despite some 'green shoots' we can't rule out a slowdown in production in certain regions or sudden increases in restrictive policies," he stated.
While the projection represents a decrease, the figure is a more positive result than previously expected, as UNCTAD had projected a 20 per cent year-on-end drop for 2020, back in June.
Trade trends have improved since then, the agency added, primarily due to the earlier than expected resumption of economic activity in Europe and East Asia.