Seaborne trade accounts for 80% of world trade by volume… so what’s seen at sea has significant implications for what happens on land.
Thus you have to perk up when the largest shipping company in the world, Maersk, says it isn’t buying into the global trade recovery yet.
Hennie van Schoor, Maersk Line’s Asia-Pacific director of business performance, thinks the maths, so far, doesn’t add up to a sustainable recovery:
“The situation remains very, very fragile for the shipping industry,” said Hennie van Schoor, Maersk Line’s director of business performance, Asia-Pacific.
“It is balanced on a knife’s edge,” he said in a keynote speech at the Asia Pacific Maritime 2010 conference in Singapore.
He cited data showing that US imports rose 13 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2009, but retail sales in the same period expanded by only 1.0 per cent.
For Europe, the continent’s imports were up 3.0 per cent, but retail sales climbed a mere 1.0 per cent.
“What this is telling us is that the underlying demand for growth is not there yet,” he said.
It’s an excellent point the ‘sustainable recovery’ bulls will need to contend with.
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