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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Shipping Industry Collapse reveals true state of Global Economy: World’s Oldest Shipping Company Closes in Industry Slide

Editor's Note: Economists / Politicians / Media personalities keep on quoting GROWTH numbers; for example, they tell us that China will experience 7-8% growth this year. In a 15 Trillion dollar Economy that would equate to almost $100 billion dollars of Economic growth in just one year! However the numbers that matter, such as their power and energy consumption data, and more importantly the shipping data reveal a completely different story! If every nation that matters has been slowing down for the past 5 years, where has this growth been coming from? It is far more logical to conclude that the Global Economy is Receding, is in a RECESSION, it is not growing. The facts on the ground are loudly screaming that the Global Economy is Collapsing not growing! Given the Economic disaster that is Europe, the biggest consumer of Chinese goods, and the disaster that is Japan, with it's manufacturing in the toilet, and the disaster that is the US where the retail sector is nowhere near 2007 levels, how can there have been growth in any Economy? Though the numbers that defy logic may claim there is growth, the numbers that matter such as the Baltic Dry Index which is a measure of the shipping industry reveal that things are getting worse, much worse, not better. The BDI has slid 55% this year alone, and that shows clearly that international trade is grinding to a halt. Shiploads of Chinese goods are no longer making their way to European shores, or to American ones. And the ships that do make it to these ports, are returning home empty not laden with European or American goods for the Chinese markets. This is why even the oldest shipping firm in the world was forced to close it's doors after nearly 300 years in business! And many more firms are bound to follow suit!

The world’s oldest shipping company sold its last vessel and is going out of business, according to the liquidator. Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd., started in 1730, has been placed into liquidation, according to a statement from accounting firm Tait Walker. The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England- based shipper, which employed nine people, sold off its final vessel in July, according to the statement.
Aug. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg View columnist Clive Crook talks about the euro-region debt crisis and European Central Bank policy. Crook, speaking with Tom Keene, Sara Eisen and Scarlet Fu on Bloomberg Television's "Surveillance," also discusses a New York regulator's claims that Standard Chartered Plc broke U.S. sanctions. (Crook is a Bloomberg View columnist. The opinions expressed are their own. Source: Bloomberg)
The Baltic Dry Index, a gauge of rates to transport dry- bulk commodities including grains and coal by sea, is down 55 percent this year and on course for a fourth annual slide in five years, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The current slump is “one of the worst experienced for many years,” the shipping company said in the statement.
“News of the closing of Stephenson Clarke clearly shows how challenging the current economic climate is for shipping,” the U.K. Chamber of Shipping said in an e-mailed statement. “Stephenson Clarke was an historic company and longstanding member until recently and we were very sorry to hear this news.”

Contracting Economy

The U.K. shipping industry had 12.6 billion pounds ($19.7 billion) of revenue in 2010, according to the most recent data on the website of the chamber, which speaks for members from P&O Ferries Ltd. to container carrier CMA CGM SA. The country’s economy will shrink 0.15 percent this year, the average of 40 economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg shows.
Stephenson Clarke owned dry-bulk carriers for short-sea voyages, its website shows. It was the world’s oldest shipping company, according to industry newspaper Lloyd’s List, which traces its founding to 1734.
“The size of the company and its small fleet mean that its failure is unlikely to have implications for wider shipping markets,” said Marc Pauchet, a London-based analyst at ACM Shipping Group Plc, the U.K.’s third-largest shipbroker. Still, Stephenson Clarke’s demise is symptomatic of a global surplus of vessels, he said.

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