Trade flows data show that the composition and cyclical properties of imports are similar in developed economies and emerging markets (EM) but this is not the case for exports. Unlike developed economies, (i) EM export few or only a selective set of capital goods and (ii) capital good and overall exports tend to be acyclical. The lack of procyclicality in exports drives the strong countercyclicality of EM trade balances observed in previous studies. A quantitative exercise demonstrates how the standard small open economy business cycle model can be improved for EM by incorporating these features.
This chapter discusses various aspects of financial crises and emerging market trade. The current global financial crisis and the sharp reduction in trade flows have raised questions about the extent to which access to capital affects the ability of companies to produce and sell exports and to buy imports. The results presented in this chapter imply that financial conditions play a significant, however, not dominant role in stimulating trade volumes among emerging market countries. Estimates presented in this paper suggest that the combination of zero net private capital flows to emerging markets and a domestic banking crisis could lower import volume growth by between 5 and 6 percent on impact, with a slightly lower effect on export volumes. It is also important to recognize that trade finance is not the only form of credit with implications for trade volumes. Conditions in credit markets more generally, including for working capital and long-term investment financing also have an impact on international trade, including through their impact on industrial production more generally. As such, it is probably sensible for policymakers to support credit flows in general rather than to focus specifically on increasing trade finance.
The paper finds that simple econometric specifications yield surprising rich and complex dynamics -- relative prices respond to the nominal exchange rate and pass-through effects, import and export volumes respond to relative price changes, and the trade balance responds to changes in import and export values.
This paper assesses the effect of constrained trade finance on trade flows in countries undergoing financial and balance of payments crises. Most of the countries that had a major crisis had a significant trade contraction, while trade-related finance declined sharply. However, trade may also be affected by other variables such as world demand, domestic demand, banking crises, changes in export and import prices, and real exchange rate depreciation. To estimate the effect of constrained trade finance on trade flows, we estimate import and export volume equations including explicitly trade financing as an explanatory variable in addition to the usual variables such as relative prices and income. We conclude that constrained trade finance is a factor in explaining both export and import volumes in the short-run. A fall in external trade finance explains a relatively small part of the trade loss during crises, while a fall in trade financing in connection with domestic banking crisis can lead to a substantial loss of trade.
This paper presents new estimates of export and import equations for Argentina, using a broader set of variables than previous studies and distinguishing between intra- and extra-MERCOSUR trade. It measures the importance of relative price versus income effects in accounting for the higher trade deficit during the 1990s, and examines whether foreign trade elasticities have increased as a result of structural changes in the economy. It finds that the high income elasticity of imports and the responsiveness of exports to changes in world commodity prices, domestic absorption, and economic activity in Brazil have been key determinants of Argentina’s trade balance.
This book edited by Chorng-Huey Wong and Naheed Kirmani, examines a wide range of trade policy issues relevant in the 1990s that were the subject of a seminar organized by the IMF in 1996. The topics include the design and implementation of trade reform, trade liberalization in industrial and transition economies, regional trading arrangements, the impact of the Uruguay Round, the role of the World Trade Organization, and post Uruguay Round issues.
Purchases under the compensatory financing facility, the IMF’s largest special facility, accounted for more than one quarter of total credit extended by the IMF over the period 1976 to 1985. Given the size of these operations, it is of some interest to determine to what extent the facility served its intended purpose—the stabilization of foreign exchange earnings of member countries experiencing temporary export shortfalls. This paper develops a methodology for evaluating the CFF’s stabilizing role and provides some quantitative evidence of its effectiveness. This evidence is then used to obtain an indication of the facility’s role in stabilizing the demand for international reserves and its contribution to net welfare gain. The results suggest that the facility has been important in stabilizing members’ earnings, and that the net benefits derived by them can be regarded as substantial.
Edited by Ana María Martirena-Mantel, this volume, published in Spanish and English, contains the papers presented at a seminar sponsored jointly by the IMF and the Instituto Torcuato di Tella of Argentina. The seminar was held in Don Torcuato, near Buenos Aires. The volume consists of six papers, commentaries, and an overview by the editor, who also acted as moderator at the seminar.