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ClarkSea Index hits 2021 high sitting at twice the ten-year trend

The cross-sector ClarkSea Index, a weighted average of tanker, bulk carrier, containership and gas carrier earnings managed by Clarkson Research Services, hit a new high for 2021 of $24,351 per day on Friday. The remarkable rally, which also saw the index post its best Q1 since 2008, comes at a time where tanker earnings are at serious lows.

The index, seen as a key shipping barometer, is now up 98% on the ten year trend.

The index has grown on the back of red-hot earnings in the container sector and growing positivity in the dry bulk space this year, something that is also translating into vessel speed changes.

Against the backdrop of bulk carrier earnings at 10-year highs, average bulker speeds have risen by 3.5% in the last 14 months following the fall of 17% in the last 13 years, research from Clarksons shows.

Meanwhile, in some of the most spectacular container shipping market conditions on record, average containership speeds have increased by 3.8% since May last year, back to early-2019 levels, but still down by 24% since 2008.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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