World Trade Volume Will Fall 9% in 2009

2009 proves to be a tough year so far for the shipping industry and especially the dry bulk shippers as the world recession hammered the trade of commodities and exporting goods from Asia and the rest of developing world.

At the same time, consumption has been reduced at the developed nations, something that leads to less imports of goods and products. According to the World Trade Organization world merchandise trade is likely to fall some 9% in volume terms in 2009 with developed economy exports falling by some 10% on average and developing country exports shrinking by 2—3%. These are bad news for the world’s shippers, as international shipping transports about 90% of world trade by volume. Without shipping, intercontinental trade, the bulk transport of raw materials and the import/export of affordable food and manufactured goods would simply not be possible, but at the same time the fall of cargoes plagues the industry. WTO analysts underline that a normal pattern for a recession, where trade falls, remains weak for a time and then resumes its upward trajectory and begins to return to its previous trend. If that scenario is correct, that means we are in the heart of recession, but the future looks more bright.Trade prospects for 2009 are heavily conditioned by the financial crisis that began almost two years ago in the United States.

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