Covid-19 and Food Protectionism: The Impact of the Pandemic and Export Restrictions on World Food Markets

30 Pages Posted: 20 May 2020 Last revised: 21 May 2020

See all articles by Alvaro Espitia

Alvaro Espitia

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Nadia Rocha

The WorldBank Group

Michele Ruta

Economic Research Division, WTO; Columbia Business School - Economics Department; International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: May 19, 2020

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of Covid-19 and uncooperative trade policies on world food markets. It quantifies the initial shock due to the pandemic under the assumption that products that are more labor intensive in production are more affected through workers' morbidity and containment policies. It then estimates how escalating export restrictions to shield domestic food markets could magnify the initial shock. The analysis shows that, in the quarter following the outbreak of the pandemic, the global export supply of food could decrease between 6 and 20 percent and global prices increase between 2 and 6 percent on average. Escalating export restrictions would multiply the initial shock by a factor of 3, with world food prices rising by up to 18 percent on average. Import food dependent countries, which are in large majority developing and least developed countries, would be most affected.

Keywords: International Trade and Trade Rules, Trade and Multilateral Issues, Trade Policy, Rules of Origin, Climate Change and Agriculture, Crops and Crop Management Systems

Suggested Citation

Espitia, Alvaro and Rocha, Nadia and Ruta, Michele, Covid-19 and Food Protectionism: The Impact of the Pandemic and Export Restrictions on World Food Markets (May 19, 2020). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 9253, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3605887

Alvaro Espitia (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Nadia Rocha

The WorldBank Group ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Michele Ruta

Economic Research Division, WTO ( email )

Rue de Lausanne 154
CH-1211 Geneva
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.iue.it/Personal/Fellows/MicheleRuta/Welcome.htm

Columbia Business School - Economics Department ( email )

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New York, NY 10027
United States

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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