Aug 16, 1999|
Shipping industry looks up
The traffic at major ports has registered a significant rise (YoY basis) in the first three months of the current financial year. Though it may be premature to base expectations of a recovery in the shipping sector, the rise in traffic does signal an increase in economic activity. A sustained recovery, however, will be required for a revival in the shipping sector.
On a quarter on quarter basis, traffic at the major ports has grown by 10%. While export growth jumped by 13.5%, imports grew by a lower 4.8% during this period.
The Baltic Freight Index that had been languishing below the 1,000 level has moved up to 1,050 in August 1999. Though the index is still far from its high of 2,400 levels that it touched in early 1995, the recent rise has come as a welcome relief to shipping companies.
The rise in the Baltic Freight Index has been driven by the recovery in the Southeast Asian economies and the strong growth posted by the Japanese economy during January - March 1999. Shipping companies would benefit in terms of better freight rates and higher traffic if the recovery were to sustain in these economies. Indian shipping companies will also profit, as there will be a trickle down effect, leading to better freight rates throughout the sector.
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