Daily Management Review

Industry Experts Claim Limited Impact On Shipping By The Ongoing Trade War


07/16/2018




The shipping association of one of the very critical port cities of the world claim that the escalating U.S – China trade war has not yet shown any significant evidence of impact on the shipping sector.
 
“In the container segment there is no clear evidence as yet, of any major impact,” Esben Poulsson, president of the Singapore Shipping Association, told the media. “One or two (shipping) lines have reduced their capacity somewhat, but there is no solid evidence of any great impact to date.”
 
While accepting that the trade war resulted in some amount of reduction in the quantity of soybeans exported from the U.S. to China in addition to some reduction in iron ore shipments, the association said that those reduction are “relatively minor."
 
There has also been limited impact on the global tanker business. According to BP’s statistical review of world energy, the amount of crude oil that is exported from the US to China, pegged ot be roughly about 7.7 million tonnes in 2017. comprises of only about 17 per cent of the total global export of U.S. crude oil.
 
Poulsson said, trade to enter Asia, remains “robust” at the same time.
 
A plan to impose new tariffs on a new Chinese list of Chinese goods worth $200 billion was announced last week by US President Donald Trump’s administration. This marked the latest development in the continuing trade dispute between the two countries. Furniture, electronics, food products, chemicals, tobacco, iron and steel, etc. are included in the list.
 
A positive sentiment about the state of affairs was also made by shipping company Maersk. However, there could be “severe consequences for global trade” if the trade spat continued ot escalate, it warned.
 
“Current tariff measures between U.S. and China remain curtailed in terms of impact on the trans-Pacific trade,” a Maersk spokesperson told the media.
 
According to Maersk, there has also been a limited impact on the global container trade because of the import tariffs imposed by the US on steel and aluminum imported from the EU, Canada and Mexico.
 
Compared to the ongoing trade war, the shipping industry is more worried about the increasing fuel costs and growing regulatory burdens.
 
Incidentally, global shipping fuel costs would rise dramatically by the imposition of a sulfur cap on marine fuel of 0.5 percent, down from the current 3.5 percent, by the International Maritime Organization. the measure aimed to counter or reduce air pollution would be implemented from 2020.
 
A study by the research firm Wood Mackenzie expects that an additional $60 billion annually would have to be borne by the global shipping industry because of the higher crude prices and limited amounts of marine gas oil (MGO) which has a lower sulfur content but is a high cost alternative to the current fuels. This is because the impacted ships would have to switch between the fuels or such ships having to install the systems necessary for removal against sulfur from the exhaust gas that is emitted by the conventional fuels.
 
“The trade issue is just another element. There are already many other elements facing the industry — be it overcapacity or be it the avalanche of regulation that we have coming at us. We definitely do not need this escalating trade war to last,” Poulsson said
 
(Source:www.cnbc.com)






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