The COVID-19 Pandemic and World Machinery Trade Network
In light of the importance of the machinery trade in global trade, this study examines whether the patterns of machinery exports changed significantly after the COVID-19 pandemic. Frameworks of network analysis and structural break analysis are applied to monthly level bilateral export data from January 2016 to March 2022. The main findings are threefold. First, positive structural change is found in exports in major machinery-exporting countries. Second, negative structural change in centrality is found in Japan and some ASEAN Member States (AMS), which implies a decline in the relative importance of these countries in the global machinery network. Third, the decline in Japanese centrality was not caused by the decline in export values or number of destination countries. Rather, it is attributable to the decline in the centrality of Japan’s export destination countries such as AMS. Noting that Japan has a relatively strong trade relationship with AMS, these results together suggest that the negative shock of the pandemic spread throughout the supply chain, which led to the decline in the relative importance of some countries – such as Japan – in the global machinery trade network.