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Maersk sees global trade slowdown easing

STORY: Shipping giant Maersk says a global trade slowdown should start to stabilise from around mid-year.

On Thursday (May 4) the firm reported first quarter earnings above expectations.

Pre-tax profits fell to just under $4 billion.

The decline came as prices for freight fell by more than a third.

Maersk had enjoyed record profits last year as strong consumer demand and health-crisis-related logjams at ports drove cargo rates higher.

That went into reverse this year as the global economy cooled.

Maersk now expects demand for container shipping to fall again as companies work through inventories they’ve built up.

But it says demand should at least level off in the second half.

Maersk kept its forecast for the year unchanged, predicting earnings of up to $11 billion, way down on last year’s record of close to $37 billion.

It said it based the outlook on “muted” economic growth.

Shares in the firm were down around 1% by lunchtime in Europe.