COVID-19 and changes in global agri-food trade

Scientific Papers

COVID-19 and changes in global agri-food trade


Helena Engemann, Yaghoob Jafari.


March 2022

Published in

Q open


COVID-19 has raised questions about the resilience of agri-food trade to global shocks to the system. This paper analyses the changes in agri-food trade (values, extensive and intensive margin, and
diversification) during the pandemic at global and regional levels. It also considers parallels in the
changes in agri-food trade and changes of various COVID-19-related factors (infections, deaths, mobility,
policy stringency, and industrial production output). The results show that changes in trade remained
limited to short-term disruptions that mostly occurred at the extensive margin of trade and, primarily,
at the height of policy stringency, mobility reductions, and the overall reduction of economic output.
The trade of staples was most resilient, while that of other agri-food products declined considerably.
Inter-regional trade of Asia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean proved generally more resilient
than these regions’ intra-regional trade.