A fall in the rate of trade growth could affect shipping, said Anil Gupta, strategy and globalisation expert at the University of Maryland, on 2 June.
Gupta told an audience at the weeklong Nor-Shipping 2015 exhibition in Lillestrøm, Norway, that global trade had been growing at a multiple of about two compared with the growth rate of the global GDP, but since the financial crisis this premium has evaporated.
“Future [trade] growth rate could be at the [same] rate of GDP, which could pose challenges to shipping,” he said. Among the reasons behind this development is a change in the Chinese economy, which has relied heavily on exports for growth.
However, China now is trying to become more reliant on domestic consumption. This again would reduce the growth rate of demand for iron ore and coal but not for oil, Gupta said. Sharp increases in the demand for iron ore and coal fuelled the pre-crisis boom in dry bulk shipping, shipping analysts have said.
Hans Kjelderud, head of shipping banking at Nordea Bank, said the demand for seagoing freight has grown throughout the last 30 years or so. Consequently, the crisis that is embracing many shipping sectors is rooted in the supply side of tonnage rather than on the demand side.