UNCTAD Predicts That In 2023, The Trade Decline Will Get Worse.

14 December 2022

In its Global Trade Update for December 2022, the UN trade organisation observed that after a record year, global trade growth had actually decreased in the second half of 2022. According to UNCTAD, $25 trillion would be spent on products and $7 trillion on services in global commerce by 2022. According to such projections, business in goods will rise by 10% through 2021 and trade in services would rise by 15%. The first half of 2022 saw strong growth, which is partly to blame for those record levels. On the other hand, the second half of the year saw a slowdown in trade growth, according to UNCTAD. According to its data, the trade in services decreased by 1% in Q3 2022 compared to Q2 2022 while increasing by 1.3%.The value of global trade will decline in Q4 2022 for both commodities and services, according to UNCTAD’s nowcast assessment of current trade.

Although UNCTAD’s preliminary data indicates a decline in the value of goods traded, volumes increased by 3%, reflecting what it claims to be continued strength in global demand. A better logistics system, less traffic, and declining freight charges were among the other encouraging aspects mentioned in the research. A restructuring of global supply chains through sourcing diversification, re-shoring, and near-shoring, all of which are anticipated to have an impact on trade in the upcoming year, was having an impact on trade patterns. Trade patterns will also reflect the transition to a greener economy, as carbon-intensive products and fossil fuel energy become less popular. Lower economic growth and high product prices were two of the issues UNCTAD highlighted as negatives. As interest rates rise, high energy costs are lowering economic projections, while equivalent price rises in products and inputs are decreasing import demand.

According to UNCTAD, the combination of rising interest rates and record levels of global debt has led to increased worries about the sustainability of debt, particularly for highly indebted governments in a climate of tightening financial conditions. For 2023, it is anticipated that the current trade decline would get worse. Positive developments don’t seem to outweigh negative concerns, despite the fact that the future for global trade is still uncertain, according to UNCTAD.


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