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
Date Written: May 19, 2020
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
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