A new insight from shipping association BIMCO has recorded dips in global trade since the trade war between the US and China began, with September likely to be bad for the globe.
September is forecast to be exceptionally bad as the US has proposed slamming tariffs on goods worth US$200 billion.
The tariffed goods’ share of global trade is largely underestimating the overall negative impact of this trade war on globalisation and international shipping.
BIMCO’s chief shipping analyst Peter Sand said: “85.3% of Chinese seaborne imports from the US and 58.5% of US seaborne imports from China could become affected by the trade war, if the US and China implement tariffs on a further $200 and $60 billion worth of goods respectively.
“The dry bulk shipping industry is the most affected in terms of volumes largely due to the Chinese tariffs, but the whole trade war still impacts only 1.9% of total dry bulk seaborne trade in 2017.
“2,002 Handymax loads are now affected. This is equal to the impact on the container shipping industry which also sees 1.9% of total containerized seaborne trade affected.”
For the first time in this trade war, the latest round has seen China unable to respond equally to the $200 billion measures announced by the US.
With China importing much less than it exports to the US, if the trade war continues to unfold, China will have to look away from tariffing imports to find its retaliatory measures.
Sand continued: “This trade war is constantly developing, in size as well as shape, with nothing looking like an end game yet.
“The next steps – are likely to see China using new “weapons”. For example, including service sectors or targeting US investments in China. The next steps from the US are set to morph too.
“The impact on the global shipping industry will depend on the measures taken.”
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