The tanker shipping sector is now suffering dire times, however, in the international owner session during the Capital Link International Shipping Forum in Shanghai on Friday, a number of owners put on a brave face and maintained the worst is nearly over.
“In general the macro trading environment is a bit uncertain for all of us, on the other hand, at least at our sector, we continue to have good fundamentals driving our business and the global fleet is well balanced for the first time in about three years. We are cautiously optimistic for the future, however obviously the geopolitical risk has increased significantly than it was in a few months ago,” said Ted Young, CFO of Dorian LPG.
Vassilis Kertsikoff, vice chairman of Eletson Holdings, was also cautiously optimistic about both the oil tanker and LPG market in 2019 and 2020. However, in contrary to Young’s view, Kertsikoff reckoned that the rising geopolitical risk in general could improve shipping rates rather than other way around.
“It doesn’t mean we pray for war, but the escalation of political tension might be positive for shipping in the short term, especially the tanker sector,” Kertsikoff said.
Bob Burke, CEO of Ridgebury Tankers, said a pick up in scrapping volumes was vital to help the market reach equilibrium.
“Thanksgiving Day on November 22,” Burke said, “would be a good turning point for the tanker market.”
Roine Ahlquist, managing director of Oceanic Marine Management, was quite positive about the outlook of crude tankers, product tankers and chemical tankers despite their challenging times at the moment, and Oceanic Marine was ready to grab opportunities as they arise.
For ideal ship types to invest in the current market situation, Kertsikoff, Ahlquist and Young all choose five year-old MR tankers while Burke opted for five-year old suezmax tankers.