- World Trade Collapses Most Since Crisis
by Tyler Durden, www.zerohedge.com
… Warning signs abound. The Baltic Dry is in a veritable free fall. Germany’s manufacturing juggernaut is showing signs of faltering. The BRICS have ceased to be a reliable driver of global growth. US freight volumes are falling for the first time in years. And the list goes on.
“We have seen this burst of globalization, and now we’re at a point of consolidation, maybe retrenchment,” WTO chief economist Robert Koopman said last autumn. “It’s almost like the timing belt on the global growth engine is a bit off or the cylinders are not firing as they should.”
As we noted earlier this month, to the extent Maersk is a bellwether, things are looking pretty grim. Maersk Line – the company’s golden goose and the world’s largest container operator – racked up $182 million in red ink last quarter and the outlook for 2016 isn’t pretty either. The company now sees demand for seaborne container transportation rising a meager 1-3% for the year.
On Thursday we got the latest evidence that the wheels are falling off. According to new data from the Netherlands Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis’s World Trade Monitor, global trade (defined as the value of goods that crossed international borders) plunged nearly 14% in 2015. That’s the first contraction since 2009.