TFG Weekly Trade Briefing, 4th May 2020

Your Monday morning coffee briefing from TFG. Economies around the world are now looking to reopening economies in support of generating economic activities, limited by social distancing restrictions.

Latest on COVID-19

Global cases of COVID-19 rose to over 3,388,000 and total deaths rose to over 243,000. Italy, France and Spain announced their plans to end the lockdown which will gradually ease existing restrictions over several months. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research notes in its latest forecast that a partial lockdown could be “the worst of both worlds” in some sectors, as businesses need to contend with the operating costs of reopening while demand and revenues are limited by social distancing restrictions.

Global stocks drop as US-China tension rises

Equity markets fell in the latter part of last week on fears that critical comments about China made by US president Donald Trump could herald a new chapter in the long-running US-China trade dispute. Trump’s threats to reignite the US-China trade war over coronavirus has triggered another sell-off in global financial markets, as the economic costs of the pandemic continue to mount. Read more →

European business and consumer confidence sees record drop

Economic confidence collapsed in April in the euro area due to the coronavirus pandemic, the European Commission said on Wednesday. The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) for April is at 67.0 for the 19 countries that make up the euro area. This is a drop of 27.2 compared to March, according to results from a Commission survey. Read more →

WTO issues new report on treatment of medical products in regional trade agreements

The WTO Secretariat has published a new report on the treatment of medical products in regional trade agreements (RTAs) amid current supply shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report examines the extent medical products are traded among preferential partners and the difference in liberalization rates within and outside these trade agreements. Read more →

Oil prices fall as producers keep pumping crude

Oil prices declined on Monday after three days of gains as worries of a supply glut resurfaced on new data showing production levels were higher in April. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) saw production surge by the most in almost 30 years in April as countries kept pumping vast amounts of crude even after reaching a price-war truce earlier in the month. Read more →

EDC – Developed markets to be hit hardest by COVID-19

According to Export Development Canada’s (EDC) Global Economic Outlook, global activity will fall by 2.8% this year, with developed markets being hardest hit and tumbling collectively by 4.2% in 2020. For example, the United States will fall 3.7%, while the United Kingdom and France will fall 6.5% and 5.7%, respectively. Read more →

IMF and WTO heads call for lifting trade restrictions on medical supplies and food

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo issued a joint call for governments to refrain from imposing export and other trade restrictions on key medical supplies and food and to quickly lift those put in place since the start of the year. Read more →