Shipping has 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.
Trade recovery and upside from port congestion and logistical disruption drove Clarksons’ boxship charter rate index to the highest mark since 2005, whilst in the bulker sector returning trade, firm grain volumes, strong Chinese imports, a pick-up in coal demand and port congestion led to the strongest quarterly average bulker earnings for more than a decade.
The momentum continues, 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 its most recent weekly report.