Not that trade disruptions weren’t taking place even before the pandemic started, but COVID-19 has disrupted this supply chain in more ways than one. People were relieved in January of this year when the Phase 1 trade deal between the U.S and China was announced. Little did anyone know, that a black swan event was about to create a bigger problem.
As the infections slowed down during the summer months, many believed that the global economy is slowly going to get back on track. However, a fierce second wave of infections has pushed many European countries into another round of lockdown. And the international trade might take another hit.
Before jumping onto the regional breakdowns of the top exports, here are some global trends to look at:
1.Oil is the single most common top export around the world spanning regions like North America, Africa, the Middle East & Russia.
2.Underdeveloped African countries are much more dependent on the exports of raw petroleum, gold & copper.
3.While many Asian countries produce and export high-end electronic devices.
The data for the infographics was taken from CEPII — a leading French center for economic research and analysis, while each country’s top export and its industry designation was assigned according to the UN Comtrade Database.
Petroleum Industry of the most dominant in North America — with the U.S & Canada being major exporters of the commodity (Figure 1). The U.S is also both the single largest producer and the largest consumer of oil. The fracking boom in America has led the country to become a net exporter of oil ($95.8B). Mexico, on the other hand, provides most of the manufactured vehicles for the North American market ($50.7B).
South America & the Caribbean
The exports map is very different for this region — central American countries like Nicaragua, El Salvador & Guatemala are providers of T-shirts. A little to the South — Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador & Bolivia rely on petroleum as their top export. Venezuela alone sends $23.2B worth of the commodity to the World. Further down the South, countries depend on exports of Agricultural products like soybeans — Brazil providing $33.2B of grains (Figure 2).
Developed countries of the European continent specialize in finished manufactured goods like automobiles, airplanes and pharmaceuticals. The biggest economy of the region, Germany, is an automobile powerhouse — selling about $155.7B of vehicles to the rest of the world each year. Similarly, home to the aviation giant Airbus, France, exports $43.8B in airplanes every year (Figure 3).
Stretching out from Turkey in the West to Japan in the east, the biggest continent has a variety of top exports, representing its diversity. The petroleum industry dominates the Middle-eastern region while countries in the East provide more finished products to the rest of the world. China alone sends $223B of electrical machinery to the world, while Saudia Arabia makes $164.8B selling Oil (Figure 4).
The most economically deprived continent depends heavily on raw materials being their top exports — petroleum in the northern countries while Copper & Gold are the top exports for countries in the western & southern regions of the continent. The only exceptions are Morocco & Tunisia, which produce automobiles and wires as finished products respectively (Figure 5).
Australia is the biggest and the most notable exporter of the region — sending $57.2B worth of coal rest of the world, also making it the World’s second-largest minerals exporter behind Switzerland which makes $63.8B in the business. There are a lot of smaller island nations in the region that specialize in fishing & manufacturing of yachts (Figure 6).