If trade wars were responsible for diminished global trade in 2019, Covid-19 will likely have the same impact during Q1 2020.
World trade rose by 0.5pc in 2019, according to the latest data from the Dutch Bureau of Economic Policy, but trade levels during the year were 0.4pc lower than in 2018, which averaged 1.1pc. Global economic trade decreased by 0.7pc through the first 11 months of 2019, then grew 0.3pc in December.
However, Covid-19’s outbreak has affected trade this quarter. Citing data from Alphaliner, an ING report indicated that 46pc of scheduled shipping lines between Asia and Europe have been cancelled because of the virus. Additionally, most businesses across China remain closed through January and most of February, which has led to decreased shipments to and from the country.
Shipments from the region will impact global supply chains through H1 2020, the report noted, because most cancelled and postponed Chinese and South Korean exports, which were due to arrive in Europe in March and April, are now slated for May or June arrival.