Dry CargoOperations

Dry bulk debate seeks positives from double negatives

Yesterday saw the fourth annual SinoShip Dry Bulk Business Breakfast take place at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong.

Speakers included Wah Kwong’s Tim Huxley, Pacific Basin’s Mats Berglund and Warwick Norman from RightShip.

It turned out to be an historic day on which to be holding the discussion – November 19 being the moment the Baltic Dry Index hit a record low of 504 points.

Despite this panelists and delegates felt the current bulker plight was not as bad as that experienced 30 years ago.

“It’s not as bad as the 1980s,” said Huxley, though he did feel a bloodbath was on the cards next year.

Searching for bright spots, Berglund said that bauxite was back in a big way, while an analyst from DVB, Andreas Rabe, felt India could take up some of the coal slack left by China.

The possibility of Indonesia repealing its ban on unprocessed ore exports was viewed as a bright spot, but on the whole the 45 high level people attending the event were pessimistic. Warwick Norman from RightShip discussed how bulkers were declining in quality as the downturn stretched on.

Taking a double negative as a positive, Maarten Vis from DVB said: “One bright spot is that there are no bright spots.” What he meant by that is that since there is no glimmer of hope there would be no orders, more scrapping giving the markets time to rebalance.

Readers can access videos from the event, which was sponsored by RightShip and DVB, over at Splash TV by clicking here.

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