It reached $28.5 trillion.

The volume of world trade in 2021 reached a record high of $28.5 trillion, an increase of 25% compared to 2020, compared to 2019, the indicator increased by 13%. Growth in this area is expected to slow down in the first quarter of this year, according to a report published on Thursday in Geneva by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

“In general, the volume of world trade reached a record level of about $28.5 trillion in 2021, which represents an increase of about 25% relative to 2020 and an increase of around 13% compared to the pre-pandemic 2019,” the report says.

According to the UNCTAD forecast, during the first quarter of 2022, the growth rate of trade will “slow down”, so the volume of trade is expected to “be similar to the levels of the fourth quarter of 2021.”

The “positive trend in international trade” last year was largely due, according to experts, to “an increase in commodity prices, the easing of pandemic-related restrictions and a strong recovery in demand due to economic stimulus packages.” This year, according to UNCTAD, a number of factors will affect global trade, in particular inflation in the United States and concerns about the situation in the real estate sector in China.

The authors of the report emphasize that the pandemic has led to “unprecedented pressure on supply chains.” Logistical disruptions, a shortage of semiconductors and rising energy prices contributed to “further supply shortages” and a sharp rise in the cost of sea freight, the UNCTAD stated.