Global shipping outlook

Apr 27, 2022 - 6 visit

Global shipping outlook

With resumed travelling and lifted Covid-restrictions in most of the world, energy product flows are expected to rebound and expand the most compared to last year, although the effect of the war and releasing strategic oil reserves influence growth. With the efforts to replace piped Russian natural gas with liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Europe, LNG/LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) tankers are expected to benefit the most (see box on LNG below).

Dry bulk flows are expected to show limited growth this year, and after a strong year for industrial dry bulk and rebuilding stocks (especially in China) 2022 will be more moderate. The comeback of coal as a source in the power sector following the surging gas prices will continue in 2022, leading to continued growth. Grain production is suffering heavily from the war in Ukraine, which is involving two of the world’s largest exporters, and alternative supply won’t completely offset this setback.

Container shipping growth will probably end up below trend in 2022 as demand for goods will probably soften with consumer spending in services sectors returning, purchasing power suffering from higher prices, and raised transportation costs. Uncertainty is clearly there, but global port figures for the first months of 2022 indicate a positive start.