International trade is set to plunge by 27 percent in the second quarter and by 20 percent for the year, as major sectors, including the automotive and energy industries, collapse from the effects the pandemic, a United Nations agency said on Thursday.
"Assuming persisting uncertainty, UNCTAD forecast indicates a decline of around 20 percent for the year 2020," the UN Conference on Trade and Development said in a report. "Trade in the automotive and energy sector collapsed while trade in agri-food products has been stable."
Trade in developing countries appears to have taken a "nosedive" in April, falling faster relative to developed countries, it said. Imports into developing countries fell by 19 percent in April while their exports shrank by 18 percent, it said.
China appeared to have "fared better" than other major economies, with exports growing by 3 percent in April, but the recovery may be short-lived as imports and exports fell by 8 percent in May, it added.