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Wednesday, 27 November 19
SHIPPING MARKET INSIGHT - INTERMODAL

Intermodal

As the end of the fourth quarter is approaching, one could say that the wet market has maintained the strong pace observed during the third quarter and will probably prove right those market specialists that predicted that tanker rates would be soaring coming into 2020 with the “IMO effect” ready to kick in. 
 
The million dollar question is if this firm market recovery (both in asset prices as well as freight rates) is the beginning of a new cycle. What definitely helped boost earnings was the recent sanctions imposed by the USA to the Chinese Cosco tanker fleet that abruptly removed a significant amount of ships from the market and inevitably pushed the market to the recent highs. COSCO Dalian and its subsidiaries own 43 oil tankers, including 26 very large crude carriers (VLCCs) which consist over 3% of the VLCC fleet. 
 
Despite the sanctions, the fundamental drive in this increase is still the coming IMO regulations that as many analysts predicted triggered an incremental move of cargoes from the desulphurization units towards major bunkering areas. Opportunities for profit were also created for traders finding market imbalances deriving from the shock of new regulations and the need to create a “new” mainstream fuel. It therefore seems that what we have been witnessing is not just a short lived spike but the start of the “IMO story”, which will be in full effect the first half of 2020. 
 
On the Dry market, the BDI has been extremely volatile throughout the year, shifting sentiment several times as a result. The year kicked in with a steep decline amidst fears of the US-China trade talks, the Vale dam disaster and seasonal Chinese New Year celebrations declines. 
 
Most feared 2019 could be a repeat of the lows observed back in 2016, while during Q1 we observed an SNP drought with only 103 bulk carriers changing hands. However, during the second quarter the market stabilized and increased steadily along with the feeling that the worst part of the year was already over and hopes for a rebound came along, with SNP transactions increasing to 137. The third quarter was overwhelming; freight rates increased rapidly and helped most companies return to the black, while more ships changed hands and transactions totaled 166. So when the last quarter begun, sentiment was firm and freights were high, while the majority of the industry was prepared for a very strong finish to the year.   
 
To the surprise of most, the positive sentiment that prevailed during the past summer is currently questioned by the performance of the BDI and uncertainty over the new regulations has become a growing concern for dry bulk owners. Consequently, one would expect transactions to decline. However, SNP activity remained strong, with more than 85 transactions already confirmed half way into this quarter, while the majority of them was concluded to Greek owners, which  itself constitutes a vote of confidence on an imminent rebound of the market sooner rather than later.
By Ilias M. Lalaounis
SnP Broker
 
Compiled by:
Intermodal Research & Valuations


Analysts:
Ms Eva Tzima

Mr.George Panagopoulos


Disclaimer and legal disclosure: For any further queries please do not hesitate to contact our Research & Valuations Department. The information contained in this report has been obtained from various sources, as reported in the market. Intermodal Shipbrokers Co. believes such information to be factual and reliable without making guarantees regarding its accuracy or completeness. Whilst every care has been taken in the production of the above review, no liability can be accepted for any loss or damage incurred in any way whatsoever by any person who may seek to rely on the information and views contained in this material. This report is being produced for the internal use of the intended recipients only and no reproducing is allowed, without the prior written authorization of Intermodal Shipbrokers Co.
 
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