Saturday, 07 July 12 DRY BULK MARKET NOT ABLE TO FIND SOLID GROUND SAY EXPERTS - NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU, HELLENIC SHIPPING
With the second half of each, traditionally looking the most active one, especially in terms of newbuildings being delivered, it's highly unlikely that the dry bulk market will be able to avoid further falls in terms of freight rates. In its latest weekly report, Intermodal mentioned that dry bulk rates "don't seem to be able to find a solid ground for correction and are stagnating at low levels especially in the bigger sizes such as Panamaxes and Capesizes. Average spot earnings for Capesizes fell significantly and reached their lowest point since December 2008 at rgn $3,500/day (today they stand above $4,000/day) due to the recent slowdown in coal imports from China and the lack of annual growth in iron ore exports from Brazil, which also have some impact on the Panamax sector, although to a smaller extent, which today stand at $7,910/day.
"On the other hand, the Supramax/Handysize sector has seen some signs of recovery, since the rates have found support by the increased movements from Black Sea grain exporters and other Bulk cargoes which use geared units for the transportation, such as steel scrap, fertilizers and sugar. At the time of writing, average earnings in Supramaxes and Handysizes stood at $13,218/day and $10,405/day respectively, which compared to the bigger size vessels, shows the unevenness and the uncertainty of the dry bulk market" said Intermodal's Yannis Olziersky.
He went on to mention that "this current distorted pattern in sport market earnings, which as mentioned above, is partly a result of demand side factors of some commodities, is also explained by the fleet supply growth. Capesize and Panamax combined fleet has grown by 7.0% from the beginning of the year, as opposed to the Handy and Supramax combined fleet growth which has risen approximately by 3.5%.
Poor freight market conditions and lack of interest on vintage second hand tonnage by further trading Buyers continue to push more units to be “beached”, despite the fact that prices have fallen substantially the last two months. This is good news for the industry as scrapping activity is necessary to continue unabated in order to be able to expect a recovery in the future. However, as we have mentioned before, this is not enough as a sharp and protracted slowdown in the pace of new buildings is also a vital and significant condition for an eventual recovery" Olziersky noted.
He added that "on the sale and purchase front, activity remains subdued in view of the poor charter market conditions, despite that prices are still falling. Opportunities on the second hand market are usually coming from Japanese owners who are genuine Sellers and disposing their units at the best obtainable prices. Additionally, other opportunities, in terms of price only, are coming from Chinese shipyards which are disposing their ppt resales for 20% less than a comparable vessel which has been built either in S. Korea or in Japan. Of course this disparity is linked to building quality, specification and consumption and is something which needs to be seriously taken into consideration prior to proceeding with such units.
In general, the present market conditions and short term prospects are negative, however during these adverse times opportunities can be found around the corner; prudent and well placed decisions may lead to oncoming successful investments; after all shipping is not a simple and temporary investment for "easy money", it’s a long term investment which need time and patient in order to gain it's returns and benefits!" he concluded in the report.
In a report last week, DVB Bank mentioned that the BDI’s average during 2011 was 1,529 points, which in turn was 44% below the 2010 average of 2,758 points. So far in 2012, the average is below 950 points and is indicative of the dire position that the market has found itself, as oversupply has “drowned” freight rates. DVB sees a sustained downward trend, stating that even delays caused by port delays and congestions and an increase in demand for dry bulk commodities, haven’t been enough to help absorb the new tonnage which is entering the market at a frenetic pace.
It’s worth noting that so far this year a total of of 529 vessels, representing 44.4 million dwt have already been delivered. Another 1,148 vessels of 93.5 million dwt are scheduled for delivery until the end of 2012. This is about 58% of the current orderbook, which stands at 2,001 vessels of 161.3 million dwt, which in turns represents about 25.8% of the current fleet. As a result, asset values as well as earnings are not expected to recover anytime soon. DVB stated that "we may see the markets bottom by the end of 2013 and remain flat thereafter. However, this is subject to owners not indulging in more newbuilding contracting if they see a seasonal spike in freight rates". Source: Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping
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