Such improvement was achieved with a 24.1% growth in shipments of that basket of products in the last three years, to $21.1 billion, which allowed it to overtake Austria.
Mexico climbed from 15th position in 2019, the year before the Covid-19 pandemic, to 14th in 2022 among the world’s largest exporters of medical products, reported the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Such improvement was achieved with a 24.1% growth in exports of that basket of products over the past three years, to $21.1 billion, allowing it to overtake Austria.
In 2022, the top 10 exporters of medical products accounted for nearly three-quarters of the world total.
Germany was the top exporter in this ranking, with external sales of $202.6 billion, comprising 12.9% of global exports.
The United States, with exports of $189.6 billion (12% of world exports of medical products), and China, with exports of $137.3 billion (8.7% of world exports), ranked second and third.
While Germany was the leading exporter of medical products, the United States was the leading exporter of medical equipment, orthopedic equipment and other medical supplies. For its part, China was the top exporter of personal protective equipment.
Between 2019 and 2022, China moved from fifth to third place, mainly due to a significant increase in exports of personal protective equipment.
During the same period, Belgium moved from seventh to fourth place, becoming the second largest exporter of pharmaceuticals.
By year-on-year growth in exports of medical products from 2019 to 2022, China was the most dynamic country (74.5 percent), followed by Belgium (70.4 percent) and Ireland (42.2 percent).
Conversely, importers of medical products are not as concentrated as exporters, with the top 10 importers accounting for about two-thirds of the world’s medical products, rather than three-quarters. In 2022, the United States was the top importer, with $306 billion worth of medical products. This constitutes a significant share of the market, accounting for 19.2% of the global total.
The pandemic had an overall negative impact on global trade in goods, with one notable exception: trade in medical products.
The analysis released by the WTO and conducted by Edvinas Drevinskas, Eric Ng Shing and Thomas Verbeet also highlights that medical products, which accounted for only 6.4% of total world trade in 2018, increased to a share of 8.3% in 2020.
This increase can be attributed to a decline in overall international trade, coupled with an increase in demand for medical products at the peak of the pandemic.
Between 2019 and 2020, trade in medical products increased 13%, mostly driven by higher demand for personal protective equipment.
This positive trend continued in 2021, with further growth of 14.1% for medical products, largely due to a significant increase in pharmaceutical trade.
More recently, the share of medical products in total merchandise trade has returned to pre-pandemic levels, declining to 6.9% in 2022.
Source: El Economista