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Q1 ship orders highest since 2008

There’s further evidence of the boom times most of the shipping markets have entered this year with Banchero Costa reporting that more newbuilds were contracted in the first three months of the year than in any Q1 since 2008, the final year of shipping’s last great bullrun.

The ship ordering news – led by the container sector – follows on from plenty of other indicators showing how strongly most shipping segments have been in the first 16 weeks of the year. 

Splash reported last week that shipping enjoyed its best Q1 since before the global financial crisis, with the second quarter on track to post equally high gains.

The ClarkSea Index, a weighted average of tanker, bulk carrier, containership and gas carrier earnings managed by Clarkson Research Services, averaged $17,461 a day in the first quarter, the best Q1 average since 2008, prior to the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

In the first quarter, the index, seen as a key shipping barometer, benefitted in particular from earnings in the containership and mid-size bulker sectors.

The momentum has continued, with the ClarkSea Index starting Q2 at $20,759 a day, up 36% on the start of the year.“

“Allied to macro economic impetus from stimulus programmes and vaccine progress and potential upside to the outlook in some sectors (even the currently beleaguered tankers) this might support further index gains,” Clarksons noted in report from earlier this month.

The bullish sentiment has also seen secondhand prices surge in recent months

Clarksons’ overall secondhand price index has risen by 33% since September last year to a seven-year high. 

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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