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Press release - Trade statistics and outook - Russia - Ukraine conflict puts fragile global trade recovery at risk
作者:WTO Secretariat


NOT FOR PUBLICATION, or distribution by news agencies UNTIL 13.00 H Geneva time 12 April 2022


Trade statistics and outLook

Russia-Ukraine conflict puts fragile global trade recovery at risk


·  World merchandise trade volume is expected to grow 3.0% in 2022 (down from 4.7% previously) and 3.4% in 2023, but these figures may be subject to revision due to uncertainty about the course of the conflict in Ukraine.

·  World GDP at market exchange rates is expected to increase by 2.8% in 2022 after rising 5.7% in 2021. Output growth should pick up to 3.2% in 2023, assuming persistent geopolitical and economic uncertainty.

·  The CIS region should see a 12.0% decline in imports and a 7.9% drop in GDP in 2022, but exports should grow by 4.9% as other countries continue to rely on Russian energy. Regional disparities may narrow due to weak import demand in Europe and Asia.

·  The volume of merchandise trade rose 9.8% in 2021. The US$ value of this trade grew 26% to US$ 22.4 trillion. The value of commercial services trade was also up 15% in 2021 to US$ 5.7 trillion.

·  Services trade will also be affected by the conflict in Ukraine, including in the transport sector, which covers container shipping and passenger air transport.

Prospects for the global economy have darkened since the outbreak of war in Ukraine on 24 February, prompting WTO economists to reassess their projections for world trade over the next two years. The organization now expects merchandise trade volume growth of 3.0% in 2022—down from its previous forecast of 4.7%—and 3.4% 2023, but these estimates are less certain than usual due to the fluid nature of the conflict (Table 1).


The most immediate economic impact of the crisis has been a sharp rise in commodity prices. Despite their small shares in world trade and output, Russia and Ukraine are key suppliers of essential goods including food, energy, and fertilizers, supplies of which are now threatened by the war. Grain shipments through Black Sea ports have already been halted, with potentially dire consequences for food security in poor countries.


The war is not the only factor weighing on world trade at the moment. Lockdowns in China to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are again disrupting seaborne trade at a time when supply chain pressures appeared to be easing. This could lead to renewed shortages of manufacturing inputs and higher inflation.


"The war in Ukraine has created immense human suffering, but it has also damaged the global economy at a critical juncture. Its impact will be felt around the world, particularly in low-income countries, where food accounts for a large fraction of household spending,"