Geneva: Russia’s war in Ukraine did not dent global trade in 2022 as badly as feared, the World Trade Organization said on Thursday — and Russia’s export values have even surged.
A year on since the full-scale invasion, the WTO concluded that trade had proved “remarkably resilient”, with importing countries affected by the conflict finding alternative sources of supply.
A report looking into the war’s impact on global trade and development estimated that trade growth in 2022 was above the WTO forecast of three percent issued in April in response to the invasion — and substantially higher than its estimates for more pessimistic scenarios.
For the most exposed countries, trade had kept afloat, the WTO said, as had trade in products significantly affected by the war — such as wheat, maize, sunflower products, fertiliser and fuels.
“Global trade has held up well in the face of the war in Ukraine,” the WTO’s chief economist Ralph Ossa said.
“Despite the devastation we have seen one year on, trade flows remained open… Sharply higher food prices and supply shortages have not materialised thanks to the openness of the multilateral trading system”.
While Ukrainian exports collapsed by 30 percent in value terms last year, Russian exports expanded by 15.6 percent in value terms, almost entirely due to an increase in prices for fuels, fertilisers and cereals.
The WTO estimates suggest, however, that Russia’s exports by volume may have declined slightly.