NEW DELHI: The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) expects a 7-9% on-year drop in the value of global trade in 2020 despite signs of a rebound led by China, due to a possible resurgence of Covid-19 infections in the coming months and the prospect of a deteriorating policy environment, with sudden increases in trade restrictive policies.

In its quarterly Global Trade Update on Wednesday, it said that preliminary data for the third quarter suggest that global growth remained negative with a decline of about 4.5% on a year-on-year basis though it rebounded from the second quarter when it shrank around 19% on-year.

“Trade in home office equipment and medical supplies has increased in Q3, while it further weakened in the automotive and energy sectors,” UNCTAD said, adding that there is a generalised downtrend in the quarter except for some East Asian economies.

As per the report, India’s exports declined 6.1% on-year for quarter ended September 30.

Earlier this month, the World Trade Organization upgraded its forecast for trade in goods due to improvements from June and predicted a 9.2% drop in 2020 but it saw a more muted rebound in 2021 with further lockdowns from a second wave of Covid-19 infections posing risks.

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