Shifting patterns in global trade for crude, oil products and LNG are evidenced in Suez Canal data for the first nine months of 2018 (see table, p18). Europe is importing record volumes of oil products from the Middle East, whilst the growing role of the US as an exporter has seen record southbound shipments of both crude and LNG. Revenues, up 10% year-on-year, are on track to smash 2014’s record $5.465bn. But a dip in container shipments hints at the global trade headwinds.

The Suez...