• Tim Knight from...
    04/28/2016 - 00:27
    I was expecting a few boring candidate statements of the U.S. Senate - AKA the World's Most Exclusive Club - but, boy, was I wrong. Just take a look at some of these gems.
  • Tim Knight from...
    04/28/2016 - 00:27
    I was expecting a few boring candidate statements of the U.S. Senate - AKA the World's Most Exclusive Club - but, boy, was I wrong. Just take a look at some of these gems.

Is The Real Indicator Of The Global Economy In Africa?

Tyler Durden's picture


The WTO recently announced it expects global trade to fall again from 5% to only 3.7% growth - significantly lower than the 20-year average growth rate of 5.4%. But ThomsonReuters notes this week that their additional comment that 'severed downside risks' could put a further dent in growth rates could well have foundation in some very real data. Traffic through the Suez Canal - a key cargo transport route - has nosedived in recent weeks and months and is currently only just above the flat-line. While not a perfect indicator, given that 8% of world trade travel this route and the rising tensions occurring geographically, nevertheless the trends in global GDP growth and trade volumes have mirrored one another very closely and this downturn suggests considerably more contraction in global growth than even the most pessimistic of sell-side research shops believes is possible.


Source: ThomsonReuters

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Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:04 | 2358336 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Egypt is going to be a problem for the tribe...

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:09 | 2358346 johnu1978
johnu1978's picture

I think you may be right.

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Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:10 | 2358353 spiral_eyes
spiral_eyes's picture

Suez Canal is an excellent indicator.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:49 | 2358497 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

What's the Panama Canal's traffic rate?

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 04:12 | 2360483 dubbleoj
dubbleoj's picture

do you have historical traffic numbers? YoY change is the story.

waaaaaaaaaaay too many letters that should be numbers in formulas in that panama canal traffic report, a phd students wet dream

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 14:19 | 2359025 Muddy1
Muddy1's picture

Exactly, the decline in Suez traffic is also reflecting civil unrest in the region and powderkeg situation in Syria and Iran, and the risk of being caught in the region when the missles, bombs, and BS start flying.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 13:40 | 2358878 mkhs
mkhs's picture

It looks to me like ths Suez canal began to lose traffic around 2004.  It is less important than it was.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:05 | 2358339 JailBank
JailBank's picture

We don't have a few Aircraft Carrier groups to send?

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:09 | 2358347 Desert Irish
Desert Irish's picture

Yep what do you think is keeping the Suez Canal from flat-lining.....

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 12:57 | 2358725 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Yes.  Let's just send our fleet through the canal repeatedly.  Back and forth.  Get NATO, the Israeli's and Russia to do it as well.  Hell, invite Iran to do it, too.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 14:21 | 2359034 Muddy1
Muddy1's picture

Four have already been sent creating a maritime traffic jam.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:15 | 2358370 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Who would have guessed it... wasn't the BDI up from it's rock bottom?...

row... row... row that boat... and sell it for scrap iron...


Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:15 | 2358377 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Compression trade bitchez!

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:19 | 2358389 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

I believe the drop in Suez traffic has been offset by a surge in camel caravans utilization.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:23 | 2358407 CreditcalMass
CreditcalMass's picture

Probably related to Iran no longer selling Oil to Europe...

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:25 | 2358415 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Yes but Irans oil exports are actually up.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:55 | 2358528 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

They all go out the Southern way into the Indian Ocean.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 12:12 | 2358589 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

I also think this has more to do with Iran than anything else, myself.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:30 | 2358429 Vince Clortho
Vince Clortho's picture

It's that time of year when NW Passage shipping routes provide an intriguing alternative.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 12:08 | 2358572 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

Why go directly to your destination via the Suez when you can detour over the North Pole instead?

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:36 | 2358456 goldinpenguin
goldinpenguin's picture

shipping traffic avoiding danger zone

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:36 | 2358458 Monedas
Monedas's picture

The Suez Canal is not Africa....not really !  Is this a CNN like attempt to get some "African Voices" play ?   Monedas  2012   Comedy Jihad African Voices Are Boring

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:37 | 2358459 campag
campag's picture

Pirates / Somalia      doh....


Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:40 | 2358465 haskelslocal
haskelslocal's picture

Overlay the 98 recession, tech boom/bust 2000, 911, Bush euphoria, 2008 bubble over this chart and the chart tells nothing.

In many ways 0 on this chart demonstrates a level of stability. So.... Not buyin' it.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:53 | 2358519 blu
blu's picture

Someone doesn't understand the idea of a common axis. Originate those two lines at zero and get back to me.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 12:28 | 2358634 Bwahaha WAGFDSMB
Bwahaha WAGFDSMB's picture

Someone doesn't understand the idea of rate of change.  Get back to me when you've taken Calculus.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 13:04 | 2358745 blu
blu's picture

This is chartology, not calculus, and is more akin to statistical analysis than rates of change. The arrow at the very end is a rough projection drawn from the chart itself, not derived from any rate equations. If the lines were originally drawn to begin together at the zero axis, they would overlap almost perfectly across the series (which is interesting) and converge at the end. The large dip in '09 where they would not overlap (which was arbitrarily selected to act as the zero-point instead of the beginning) could be interesting as well, but the down-arrow at the end would vanish as there would actually be no difference in the lines on the chart at that point. Certainly not anything of statistical significance. 

I have no real concerns either way. But I dislike visual manipulations of complex data sets for any purpose. The simple truth always serves us better, even if it is not very interesting. I've been noticing rather a lot of chart-stuffing on ZH of late, I wonder what that implies if anything. It may be a natural response to the chaotic noise now in the system, but if so then it is a poor choice indeed as the eye can infer the existence of order that is not there. For this reason it is very easy to befuddle people with charts and numbers, especially if the result is what they expect the hear.

I am always suspicious of anything that seems half-baked. There is enough of that coming from TPTB, I don't think the rest of us should continue the practice and in doing so, legitimize it.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 13:45 | 2358896 Bwahaha WAGFDSMB
Bwahaha WAGFDSMB's picture

It's a graph of "percent change on previous year".  The zero is not arbitrary, it represents no change.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 12:16 | 2358599 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

Of course if traffic is falling you have to raise the transit rates to maintain the same level of revenue...

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 12:29 | 2358642 Nobody For President
Nobody For President's picture

Say you have a full  tanker of crude in Jeddah, ready to sail to a US Gulf Port for refining. Anybody have any idea of the difference in insurance premiums between sailing North through the Suez vs. turning south and passing Somolia and through the Indian Ocean to get around the horn of Africa?

(ZHers are an incredibly diverse and knowledgeable lot.)

It seems to me that the Suez has to be high on terrorist radar - sink one tanker in that canal and world trade pukes for awhile...

But going past Somolia ain't a piece of cake either.

It is a dangerous part of the world out there right now - glad I'm not in the Merchant Marines.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 12:41 | 2358673 plongka10
plongka10's picture

Not much crude being shipped out of Jeddah - the oil is on the East Coast (Al Khobar, Dahran), not the West Coast. Hence the Carrier Groups based in and around Bahrain.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 13:25 | 2358827 mt paul
mt paul's picture

when is the Somalia yacht club regatta this year...

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 16:47 | 2359514 onebir
onebir's picture

Malacca Straits data might also be interesting; apparently 1/4 of world goods trade goes through there. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strait_of_Malacca#Economic_importance)

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