While providing companies with liquidity was the top priority in the first years of the pandemic, the focus is now on investments. The data in the current industry report from the Berne Union show that the medium- and long-term export credit business recovered in 2021 after the enormous decline at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. New business grew particularly strongly in the renewable energy sector.

2021 was once again marked by the Covid-19 pandemic and measures against the economic impact. The current industry report by the Berne Union (BU) shows that export credit insurance and its countercyclical function played an effective and important role. Risk hedging instruments will continue to be in demand over the coming months as the economic and political situation remains challenging: inflation is rising, supply chains continue to be disrupted and geopolitical tensions are increasing. In addition, climate change is becoming more and more relevant.

Climate change as a major challenge and opportunity

The effects of climate change are no longer limited to ecological factors, but increasingly also affect the economy. There is a huge opportunity for export credit insurance to support the technology transfer, innovation and risk mitigation. The current data from the Berne Union already show a strong increase in new business in the field of renewable energies. This has grown by 40% compared to the previous year. 

Export credit and investment insurance industry data and trends

Once a year, Berne Union (BU) publishes a report on the export credit and investment insurance business of its members. Following a tumultuous 2020, the export credit insurance industry solidly recovered last year:

  • Total new business from BU members rose 11% to 2.7 trillion USD.
  • The persistently high demand for goods and higher commodity prices meant that new business in the area of short-term export credit insurance (repayment term is less than 360 days) increased by 12% year-on-year and is therefore above the pre-pandemic level.
  • The volume of new business in medium and long-term export credit insurance is still below the level of 2019, but has recovered overall. Renewable energy (+40%) and manufacturing (+60%) transactions saw the strongest growth.
  • Claims paid increased by 6% to USD 9.2 billion, the highest recorded level ever.

All aggregated business data for 2021 as well as an overview of the development of new commitments and claims can be found in the current industry report:

About Berne Union

The Berne Union (BU) is the association of export credit and investment insurers and currently has 83 members from more than 70 countries. The members of the BU, including OeKB, promote cross-border trade. They support exports and foreign investments by covering political and economic risks, often on behalf of their governments. In 2021, Berne Unions's member cover 14% of world cross border trade for goods and services.