Declining commodity prices during mid-2014-2016 posed significant challenges to commodity-exporting economies. The severe terms of trade shock associated with a sharp fall in world commodity prices have raised anew questions about the viability of pegged exchange rate regimes. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures needed to contain its spread have been associated with a significant disruption in several economic sectors, in particular, travel, tourism, and hospitality industry, adding to the downward pressure on commodity prices, a sharp fall in foreign exchange earnings, and depressed economic activity in most commodity exporters. This paper reviews country experiences with different exchange rate regimes in coping with commodity price shocks and explores the role of flexible exchange rates as a shock absorber, analyzing the macroeconomic impact of adverse term-of-trade shocks under different regimes using event study and panel vector autoregression techniques. It also analyzes, conceptually and empirically, policy and technical considerations in making exchange rate regime choices and discusses the supporting policies that should accompany a given regime choice to make that choice sustainable. It offers lessons that could be helpful to the Caribbean commodity-exporters.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the sectoral trends and the impact of the real effective exchange rate (REER) changes on sectoral exports using the detailed product data from the United Nations’ Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade). This paper focuses on Uruguay’s product- and sector-specific global export market shares. It also estimates the sensitivity of these market shares to real effective exchange rate by using the product data from the Comtrade database and building on the work presented in IMF (2017). The paper estimates the elasticities of product market shares with respect to real exchange rates for Uruguay only. Rather than using time dummies to isolate the potential impact of the time trend, the lagged value of the change in shares as an additional independent variable has been added. The paper concludes that Uruguay’s manufacturing exports are sensitive to the changes in REER, and, accordingly, that productivity-enhancing measures to promote competitiveness would be beneficial.