Confidence in shipping drops due to trade war

PRESS RELEASE – Confidence in the shipping industry fell in the past three months to its lowest level for two and half years, according to the latest Shipping Confidence Survey from maritime consultant BDO. Yet owners, charterers and managers were more confident than they were at the time of the previous survey in May 2019.

The average confidence level recorded by the survey in the three months to end-August 2019 was 5.8 out of a possible maximum of 10.0. This compares to the figure of 6.1 recorded for the quarter ended May 2019.

Confidence was highest in the chartering sector (up from 6.2 to 7.0), while the increased ratings for owners and managers were from 6.3 to 6.4 and from 5.8 to 5.9, respectively. The rating for brokers, however, was down from 5.7 to 5.1.

Geographically, confidence was up in Asia from 6.0 to 6.8 – the highest figure for this region since the survey was launched in May 2008. The rating for Europe, however, was down, from 6.1 to 5.7.

Demand trends were cited as the factor most likely to influence performance over the next 12 months. Competition and finance costs featured in second and third place.

“Geopolitical uncertainty contributed significantly to the decline in confidence recorded in our latest survey, with a number of respondents expressing concern about burgeoning trade wars and political tension in various parts of the world, says Richard Greiner, a partner in Shipping & Transport at BDO. Ongoing indecision surrounding Brexit was also a salient factor, he adds.

“But it was not all bad news. Confidence on the part of owners, charterers and managers was up in the last three months, as was the likelihood of imminent major investment – in the case of owners, to an all-time survey high.”

Author: Tobias Pieffers

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