Africa recorded the highest growth in exports of IGs in the second quarter (88 % ), mainly due to strong jumps in exports of precious metals and stones such as rhodium, diamonds, copper/copper cathodes and iron ore concentrates. South and Central America recorded a 53 % increase, also related to a strong rise in exports of primary commodities such as iron and copper ores.
China maintained high growth in supply and demand of international inputs (more than 40 % in Q2 2021), while the largest increases were recorded for Australia’s IG exports (74 % ) — mainly due to exports of iron ore concentrates (101 % in Q2) and wheat and meslin (183 %) — and India’s imports (119 %), essentially linked to non-monetary gold (1,034), non-industrial raw diamonds (896 %) and integrated circuits (333 % ).
Exports of transport equipment rose the highest in Q2 2021, by 69 %. This is mainly a recovery from a low base after the strong decline observed for the sector in Q2 2020 — the automotive industry suffered the most in terms of effects on demand and supply chains during the peak of the pandemic.
Exports of food and beverages increased the least in Q2 2021, by 29 % . Unlike other industries, the food sector did not show a marked slowdown in Q2 2020.
IGs are inputs used to produce a final product. They range from crops used in food production to textiles and metals needed to manufacture goods. Trade in intermediate goods is an indicator of the activity in supply chains, which was severely impacted in the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis. The share of IG in total trade (excluding fuels) in Q2 2021 was 52 %, a ratio that remained constant over the last decade.
The second quarter information note on trade in intermediate goods is available here.