World trade reached a record high in 2022, although growth slowed in the last quarter of the year. This is reported by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) based on its report.
The United Nations organization also predicts that global trade volumes will stagnate in the first half of this year.
The total global trade volume amounted to 32 trillion dollars (more than 29 trillion euros) last year, UNCTAD estimates. Trade in goods rose by about 10 percent from 2021 to reach an estimated value of $25 trillion. Global service trade increased even more, growing 15 percent year-on-year to $7 trillion.
According to the organization, trade growth was mainly stimulated because the logistical problems in ports have largely been resolved, and the global capacity to transport goods has increased again. In addition, freight costs, which rose sharply during the corona pandemic, have also fallen back to pre-pandemic levels.
However, inflation, rising interest rates and high prices for energy, food and metals, among other things, mean that the outlook for this year is less good, UNCTAD predicts.
According to the trade organization, Russian exports fell in most prominent countries in the last quarter of 2022. This is because the heavy Western sanctions hit the Russian economy after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. That invasion also caused sharp price increases last year in the global food and energy markets.
According to the UN organization, “geopolitical tensions”, including the war in Ukraine, pose the most significant risks to world trade in 2023.