Developments in international seaborne trade

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Global economic growth faltered in 2013 as economic activity in developing regions suffered setbacks and as the situation in the advanced economies improved only slightly. Reflecting a stumbling growth in the world economy (2.3 per cent growth in world GDP) world merchandise trade volumes expanded, albeit at the modest rate of 2.2 per cent. In tandem, growth in world seaborne shipments decelerated and averaged 3.8 per cent, taking total volumes to nearly 9.6 billion tons. In line with recent trends, much of the expansion was driven by growth in drycargo flows, in particular bulk commodities, which grew by 5.5 per cent. Dry cargo, including (a) the five major bulk commodities (iron ore, coal, grain, bauxite and alumina, phosphate rock), (b) minor bulks (forest products and the like), (c) containerized trade, (d) general cargo/breakbulk, accounted for the largest share (70.2 per cent). Tanker trade (crude oil, petroleum products and gas) was responsible for the remaining 29.8 per cent.

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