The ClarkSea global cross-segment index fell 2% in 2020, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) said.
ClarkSea is a weighted average earnings index for the major vessel types where the weighting is based on the number of vessels in each sector of the fleet.
Global ocean freight markets experienced great volatility and disruption throughout 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19.
Despite the significant disruption, the ClarkSea global cross-segment index (which indicates movements in the average cost/earnings of chartering vessels in key ‘volume’ shipping sectors) averaged just -2% below the prior year in 2020.
The first half of 2020 in particular was the best half of the year for the ClarkSea Index in a decade, averaging $ 16,373/day, although the average in the second half of the year fell back to $ 13,304/day.
The “spike” of the first half was generally driven by an increase in demand for the use of “floating storage” tankers, as Covid-19-related “shutdowns” led to a rapid build-up of oil surpluses globally. and oil prices in deferral of payment.
The trends in the European Union (EU) shipping market were broadly similar to global trends.
The EU ExtraImports Ship Profit Index averaged $ 21,470/day in 2020, this is 6% less than the 2019 average, although there was significant variation throughout the year.
Meanwhile, the EU Extra Import Vessels Profit Index peaked (monthly) at $ 43,876/day in April, and averaged $ 28,439/day during the first half of 2020, supported by the “peak” in the tanker costs/earnings, before declining in the second half of 2020 to an average of $ 14,506, -49% less than in the first six months of the year as tanker markets plummeted, despite the significant cost/profit increases for container ships and gas carriers later in the year.
On the other hand, the profit index for non-EU export vessels from the EU averaged $ 15,732, 4% more than in 2019 and 18% above the average level of 2016-20, despite the impact of Covid-19 .
However, the second half of 2020 saw a decline, with the EU’s extra-export vessel charter cost/earnings ratio 13% lower, averaging $ 14,615/day, compared to $ 16,849/day in the first half of the year, although there were again strong increases in container and gas transportation at the end of 2020.