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“Self induced” recession for Northern Europe

Sunday, 12 February 2012 | 00:00
Northern Europe’s "return to recession has been self induced," said Ben Hackett of Hackett Associates, following a "substantial" weakening of deep sea imports - a reflection of the on-going financial crisis and uncertainty in Europe.
He added, “Europe was late coming into the 2007-2009 global recession and slow getting out of it. Now it seems to be striking its own course and creating a new recession which is impacting its trading partners.”
According to the latest North European Port Tracker released by Hackett Associates LLC and the Bremen Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL), Continental Northern Europe’s year to-date total volumes are estimated to be 7.4% higher than in 2010.
However, there’s been an overall decline since the summer, and at the six major ports the projection is for no growth at all in 2012. Mr Hackett noted that “until a month ago we had expected a weak first half for 2012 with a resurgence in the second half resulting in a 2% to 3% growth in imports for the year. With the continuing government policies we think that even a no-growth scenario might be optimistic.“ He went on to say, “we have argued at length that the squeeze is excessive and ill timed.”
Mr Maatsch of ISL noted that within this, “the market share shifts have been remarkable”. provisional results suggest that the German ports are more than 15% above their previous year’s level – at 37.5% they are beginning to catch up with their 2008 lead of 38.7%, while Le Havre and the Belgian ports were actually below the volumes reached in November 2010.
Source: Port Strategy
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