The fact is that in the 21st century there has been no more important country to shipping’s fortunes – whatever the sector – than China. Its incredible pace of urbanisation, willingness to take on the factory of the world mantle, and then its growing middle class – all has created intense maritime trade to push the country to silver spot on the world economy podium. Think about this – in GDP terms the Chinese economy grew more than 14-fold from the start of the century through to last year, a scale and speed the like of which we will never witness again.
And here’s the thing, shipping has had to make do this year without the normal rocket China gives to earnings. China and its strict zero-covid policies through to this month have hampered industrial production, created enormous supply chain headaches as well as ensuring GDP growth at this giant nation will be the slowest recorded this century with the real estate market implosion being of particular note.
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Reference: Sam Chambers, : "2022: The year shipping made do without China", Splash247.com, Dec 16th 2022