Your Monday morning coffee briefing from TFG. UK prime minister Boris Johnson set out his ‘roadmap’ to ease current public health restrictions in England. Global trade grew by 4.0% in the fourth quarter of last year compared to the previous quarter. Trade volumes for 2020 as a whole were down 5.3%.

Goods Barometer signals strong trade rebound but momentum may be short lived

World merchandise trade volume growth remained strong in the fourth quarter of 2020 after trade rebounded in the third quarter from a deep COVID-19 induced slump; however, the pace of expansion in the fourth quarter is unlikely to be sustained in the first half of 2021 since key leading indicators appear to have already peaked, according to the WTO’s latest Goods Trade Barometer. Read more →

Funds see ‘strong business case’ for commodity trade finance amid banks’ retreat

Commodity trade finance suffered a hit to its reputation in 2020 as it faced major losses and fraud scandals, all while banks scaled back their lending. Despite this, funds see the segment as an attractive investment opportunity, even more so now that banks want out. Read more →

Economic growth to miss predictions

Britain’s GDP is expected to fall 4% in the first quarter of the year according to the EY Item Club, a downgrade on the 1.9% Q1 growth predicted by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in November. EY expects the OBR to revise down its forecasts after non-essential high street retail and hospitality were closed amid the latest nationwide restrictions in January. Read more →

China overtakes UK in global digitalisation index

The UK is falling behind Asia’s rapidly developing digital economies, with China overtaking the UK on trade credit insurer’s Enabling Digitalisation Index (EDI), rising to 4th, while Hong Kong also moved up four places. Read more →

UKEF to guarantee buyer loans up to £30 million

UK Export Finance to guarantee buyer loans up to £30 million as part of an organisational overhaul to make credit lines more accessible to SMEs, and boost UK trade with overseas markets. In a bid to boost exports, the programme will guarantee loans of up to 85 percent of the contract value with a UK exporter. Read more →

DIT launch new export campaign for British food and drink

£2 million of funding will be allocated for advertising, as well as mentoring farmers and producers on how to access international markets. following a speech at the NFU (National Farmers’​ Union) annual conference. Read more →

Demand for export credit insurance continues to rise

Demand for export credit insurance continues to rise, Berne Union finds. Export credit agencies have reported increases in all business areas and note that the main drivers remain the strong appetite for liquidity and working capital, as well as continued sales. Read more →