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Clarkson downgrades tonne-mile forecasts

Clarkson Research Services, one of the world’s largest shipping analyst firms, has downgraded its tonne-mile projections with a warning from its managing director that further downgrades are possible on the back of worrying signs regarding the health of the global economy.

Clarkson’s seaborne trade growth forecast is now the lowest recorded since 2009, one year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the onset of the global financial crisis.

Clarkson’s projections for seaborne trade growth in 2019 have been downgraded to 1.7% in tonnes and 2.2% in tonne-miles (from 2.9% and 3.4% at start 2019, respectively).

Dry bulk trade is projected to grow by a 1-2% in 2019, oil trade by 0.8% (2.9% in tonne-miles), and container trade by 2.5%. Trends in gas trade remain positive with LNG at 8%, LPG at 5%, Clarkson is predicting.

2020 projections are more positive for most sectors with fleet growth dropping to just 2%, down from this year’s predicted 3.3%.

Concluding, in a column for the company’s latest weekly report, Stephen Gordon, the managing director of Clarkson Research Services, wrote that with global economic concerns building, the risk of further downgrades to demand need to be tracked closely.

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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