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Tuesday, 28 August 18
SHIPPING MARKET UPDATE - GEORGE LAZARIDIS
AlliedAs we edge close to the start of the Autumn Season, a period within the year that is usually characterized as the pivot point from the final quarter rally takes shape, one can’t but wonder what is install for the market this Autumn and if we could well see a firm rally take shape this time around says George Lazaridis, Head of Research & Valuations of Allied shipping.
 
According to George Lazaridis, the truth of the matter is that much of the optimism that was being shared amongst market participants at the start of the year has seemed to have dissipated during the past couple of months as events started to unfold. These events, though most not directly connected to shipping markets, have had a significant impact on almost all aspects of the shipping market. Not all have been negative, though in their overall influence seem to add up to more negative than positive influences.  He further noted in his latest weekly report, the ensuing geopolitical tensions have not just affected international trade but have also had several effects on other aspects of the market, an example of which can be seen in the recent collapse of the Turkish Lira which as a consequence brought about a collapse of the ship recycling market within the Mediterranean. 
 
The Head of Research & Valuations Allied further said in his report, on the face of it all things have been holding up relatively well across most of the main shipping sectors. Steel production has shown remarkable resilience despite most of the trade tensions having been originally focused around steel products. This has helped play a significant part in keep the Dry Bulk market alive and kicking over the past couple of months. Things haven’t been going all the bad in the oil trade either, though given that the tanker sector is still trying to lift itself out of its current recessive state, there are limited smiles to be seen as of yet amongst owners. Gas carriers have been flourishing as demand for both petroleum gasses and Liquified Natural gas is not only holding up well but is showing signs of a renaissance in demand. Containership have also managed to keep on a good track for the time being, though a bigger word of caution seems to be warranted here given that most of the Tariffs threats at play are most likely to have a direct impact on their cargo volumes first. 
 
Having said all that the state of play seems to be one of extensive uncertainty, with the constant shifts in that are being brought about by the political tension baffling most long term chartering strategies and essentially benefiting most those chartering managers which can prove to be quick on their feet. The extensive level of investment and operational risk being faced has essentially shifted the market paradigm into more of a risky gamble rather than a sound investment strategy. New regulations such as the one brought about by Beijing with regards to the import of vessels can have imminent shifts in the long-term prospects of any investment in shipping, while directly influencing its current running value. The sparking of new tensions such as the recent fallout between the United States and Turkey have a direct impact on certain vital trade regions such as the Black Sea, as well as the ship recycling industry in the region (although given that Turkey is primarily a ship recycling location for smaller vessel sizes the impact is overall limited). Given that we are likely to see further such developments take shape before the year comes to a close and it will be some time before we start to see some resolution take place, it looks as though the overall sense of uncertainty will continue to feed the market and most new investment decisions for now. It just seems as though most of us will have to just embrace risk for the time being and always hope for the best.


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