Shipping giant warns Covid-19 will hurt global trade

Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, warned¬†Thursday that the¬†Covid-19 outbreak in China will have dramatic effects on its earnings.

Just as I wrote earlier this week the shutdown of Chinese factories and shipping ports due to the virus outbreak will impact global trade.

“As factories in China are closed for longer than usual in connection with the Chinese New Year as a result of the COVID-19, we expect a weak start of the year,” Maersk warned during its earnings call.

Maersk could not put a figure on its projected losses since it is too early to judge the impact of the outbreak. However the company is looking at global trade revenues to be lower than last year, it stated.

This news comes as the spread of the coronavirus is reported in other Chinese provinces and new cases spike in South Korea overnight. Trade analysts fear that if South Korea is broadly hit with the virus, global shipping traffic will take another huge hit.

South Korea reported a spike of 52 new coronavirus cases overnight with two reported deaths. This brings the total number of cases to 156, mainly situated in the city of Daegu.

Local officials have asked Daegu residents to shelter at home to avoid further outbreaks.