World, Economy

G20 global merchandise trade rebounds sharply in 3Q

International trade figures still around 5% below pre-pandemic level

Aysu Bicer   | 27.11.2020
G20 global merchandise trade rebounds sharply in 3Q


G20 international merchandise trade bounced back sharply in the third quarter of 2020 as exports and imports rose 21.6% and 18.1%, respectively, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) announced Thursday.

"However, international trade remains around 5% below its pre-pandemic level in Q4, 2019," it said in a press release.

Moreover, provisional data for October, in those countries where data are available, suggest that renewed lockdown measures introduced in many economies may already be beginning to weigh down on international trade.

Exports and imports rebounded sharply in North America.

In Canada, they were up by 31.1% and 32.3%, respectively; in the US by 23.6% and 18.5%; and in Mexico by 50.2% and 18.5%.

Europe saw a similar rebound in the third quarter, with exports in France, Germany, and Italy up by 35.9%, 28.2%, and 40.8% respectively, and imports by 30.7%, 17.8%, and 29.8%.

In the UK, exports rose by 23.8% and imports by 31.0%.

Despite a sharp rise of more than 40% in crude oil prices, Russia's trade figures increased more moderately, with exports up 10.6% and imports up 7.0% in the third quarter.

Among G20 economies, only China has seen trade recover to above pre-pandemic levels with increases in exports and imports of 9.6% and 13.7%, respectively, with trade-in PPE equipment, in particular, helping to push China’s exports to a record high in the third quarter.

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