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Measuring the Impact of Trade Finance on South African Export Flows

  • Marcel Kohler
  • Adrian Saville
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    Trade finance (or short-term credit) plays a crucial role in facilitating international trade yet is particularly vulnerable to financial crises as banks increase the pricing on all trade finance transactions to cover increased funding costs and higher credit risks. Whereas South Africa’s financial institutions largely managed to strengthen their capital positions during the global financial crisis, the country’s trade flows and access to capital (in particular trade finance and its costs) were hit hard by the crisis. Little is known about the extent of shortages or ‘gaps’ in trade finance and the impact of this on South Africa’s recent trade performance. Whilst our research recognises that access to trade finance is not the main cause of South Africa’s trade contraction, our research suggests that a one percentage point increase in the interbank lending rate of our trade partner could reduce exports by approximately ten percent, all else equal.

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    Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 232.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:232
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    1. Romain Wacziarg & Karen Horn Welch, 2008. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(2), pages 187-231, June.
    2. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
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    5. Chauffour, Jean-Pierre & Farole, Thomas, 2009. "Trade finance in crisis : market adjustment or market failure ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5003, The World Bank.
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    12. John Taylor & John Williams, 2008. "Further Results on a Black Swan in the Money Market," Discussion Papers 07-046, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    13. Minetti, Raoul & Zhu, Susan Chun, 2011. "Credit constraints and firm export: Microeconomic evidence from Italy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 109-125, March.
    14. Jane Korinek & Jean Le Cocguic & Patricia Sourdin, 2010. "The Availability and Cost of Short-Term Trade Finance and its Impact on Trade," OECD Trade Policy Papers 98, OECD Publishing.
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