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Wednesday, 22 August 18
SHIPPING MARKET INSIGHT - GEORGE PANAGOPOULOS
IntermodalDuring the most quite week of the summer period we witnessed a trade war between United States and Turkey. A battle, which started with the arrest of an American pastor in Turkey. The effects of the trade war were immediate with U.S. President Tramp stating on twitter: I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time. 
 
This had as a consequence the fall of the Turkish Lira from 5.25 to a historical low against the U.S dollar. With the new sanctions Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted with boycotting American electronics and announced that Turkey will place a 140% tariff on U.S. alcohol, 120% on U.S. passenger vehicles and 60% on tobacco. Other products subject to new tariffs will include rice, nuts, cosmetics, uncoated paper and mechanical appliances. In addition, in order to boost its economy Turkey successfully secured a $15 billion investment from Qatar. The Qatari state announced that the money would go towards economic projects, investments and deposits.
 
The results of the trade war are immediate as MMK, one of Russia's largest steel producers, has postponed the launch of a lucrative project in Turkey due to the uncertainty that has been created amongst the counties. According to the news it is estimated that this investment is worth around $2 billion.
 
Focusing on the shipping industry, can this battle between the countries, affect the market in general? As we have already seen, a sector that is being affected from the trade war is Turkey’s demolition market. More specifically last week they were rumours that local cash buyers refused to offer for demo tonnage with the huge drop of Turkish Lira and local steel plate prices. Although there is not any official announcement that the market is closed, it is uncertain how the market will perform during the rest of the year.  The possibility that many ship owners will change their decision to send their vessels for demo in Turkey is now big, while the said import tariffs could add extra pressure on the local market.
 
On the other open front between the U.S. and China expectations remain mixed. On one hand, positive news emerged last week in regards to the end of this trade war that pushed Asian market up, but following this news President Trump stated on an interview in Reuters that there is still "no timeframe" for such development.
 
All in all, 2018 is undoubtedly a good year so far for the shipping industry in most markets and everyone is expecting a strong Q4. But, as we all know to trade wars and politics greatly affect the shipping industry especially when we are referring to the strongest economies in the world. It therefore remains to be seen whether all of the above will push back the on-going recovery in a number of sectors or not.
By George Panagopoulos
 
Research Analyst

Compiled by:
Intermodal Research & Valuations

Analysts:
Ms Eva Tzima

George Panagopoulos

Disclaimer and legal disclosure: For any further queries please do not hesitate to contact our Research & Valuations Department. The information contained in this report has been obtained from various sources, as reported in the market. Intermodal Shipbrokers Co. believes such information to be factual and reliable without making guarantees regarding its accuracy or completeness. Whilst every care has been taken in the production of the above review, no liability can be accepted for any loss or damage incurred in any way whatsoever by any person who may seek to rely on the information and views contained in this material. This report is being produced for the internal use of the intended recipients only and no reproducing is allowed, without the prior written authorization of Intermodal Shipbrokers Co.

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