Discussion Papers

No.791 Impacts of COVID-19 on International Trade: Evidence from the First Quarter of 2020

by Kazunobu Hayakawa, Hiroshi Mukunoki

June 2020


The aim of this study is to present early evidence for the impacts of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on international trade. Accordingly, we investigate trade among 186 countries in the first quarter of 2020. The disease burden of COVID-19 is measured in terms of the number of cases and deaths. Our findings can be summarized as follows. First, the COVID-19 burden in exporting countries, but in not importing countries, has a significantly negative effect on trade. Second, this negative impact of exporters’ COVID-19 burden is seen in exports from developing countries but not from developed countries. Third, the COVID-19 burden in an exporter’s neighboring countries has a positive effect on its exports. Fourth, importers’ COVID-19 burden has positive effects on trade in the agricultural industry, whereas exporters’ COVID-19 burden has negative effects, particularly in the textile, footwear, and plastic industries.

Keywords: COVID-19, International trade

JEL classification: F15, F53

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