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Global trade in medical goods up 16.3% in 2020: WTO

Published : Sunday, 1 August, 2021 at 10:49 PM  Count : 330

Global trade in medical goods up 16.3% in 2020: WTO

Global trade in medical goods up 16.3% in 2020: WTO

Global trade in medical goods saw 16.3% growth in 2020, compared to 4.7% in 2019 when the Covid-19 pandemic just started unfolding, according to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Exports of medical products – including medicines, medical equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) – rose more than 16%, underscoring how trade has been a lifeline for access to critical goods through the pandemic, after the initial disruptions.

The share of medical goods in the world merchandise trade grew from 5.3% in 2019 to 6.6% in 2020.

Trade in medical goods increased significantly in 2020, with trade in PPEs growing the most – more than 47.2%.

Medicine represented 52% of world trade in medical goods in 2020, according to World Trade Statistical Review 2021 issued by the WTO.

However, the effect of Covid-19 on goods and services differed, with services more severely affected. Services dropped 30% in the second quarter of 2020 compared with a fall of 23% for goods in the same period.

Global trade in goods and services amounted to $22 trillion in 2020, a 12% drop compared to 2019, according to the Review, the WTO's annual flagship publication, which presents recent trends in world trade and seeks to provide statistical insights on the trade impact of Covid-19.

After three successive negative quarters, world exports of intermediate goods rose 8.5% year-on-year in Q4 of 2020, a sign of strong recovery in supply chains.

Exports of food and beverage intermediate goods increased 16.3% in Q4 of 2020 as food supply chains remained resilient and continued to meet demand.

Exports of transport equipment saw a slight recovery in Q4 of 2020, increasing 0.5 % year-on-year.

The automotive sector was severely affected by Covid-19, with a decline in sales and supply chain disruption.


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