Impact of COVID-19 outbreak on the Mauritian export trade: A disaggregated analysis

Mauritius - 8 April 2021

Trade topics: Trade Modelling

This study evaluates the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the export trade system for Mauritius. Preliminary analysis of the monthly export time-series data confirms that in general, the series have departed from their original trends after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic: observed values are lower than those predicted by the selected optimal forecast model. We subsequently employ the Bayesian structural time-series (BSTS) framework for causal analysis to estimate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the island’s export system during the first half of 2020 (January 2020-June 2020). Overall, the findings show that the COVID-19 pandemic has a statistically significant and negative impact on the Mauritian export trade system during the period of study. At the disaggregated level, the empirical results indicate that the five main export trading partners and sectors are most affected by the outbreak of the pandemic. The results also point out that in the long-run, total exports will surely be affected by the pandemic despite that in some cases the impact is not apparent during the first six months following the outbreak.

Author(s): Z Khan Jaffur, B Seetanah, V Tandrayen-Ragoobur, S Fauzel, V Teeroovengadum, & Ramsohok S