Greater China

Dry bulk poll: When will the good times return?


Dalian: In our first three weeks of interviews at our new sister site Maritime CEO we have canvassed the great and the good of shipping on when the dry bulk market will see an upturn. Now is your chance to comment in our new poll on Maritime CEO’s LinkedIn page. 

Citigroup this week said in a report 2014 is likely to be the time for recovery. 

“2013 will be the defining year,” Wah Kwong chairman Sabrina Chao told Maritime CEO in our debut shipowner profile. “A lot of people won’t make it,” she added.

Lloyd’s Register’s ceo Richard Sadler commented: “For shipping, the next 12 months at least will see vessel supply exceed any increased demand from a rising global economy.”

While some investment banks, notably Norway’s DNB, have proclaimed the worst is over, Steve Rodley, managing partner of giant charterer Global Maritime Investments, is far from convinced. Rodley reckons dry bulk is now in the “lower regions” of the cycle but not the bottom. Critically, he expects current levels – and lower – to be maintained for some time.

Meanwhile, Warwick Norman, the head of third party vetting specialists Rightship, conceded there is “still more pain to come”.

On the markets, shipmanager Bjorn Hojgaard, the boss of Hong Kong’s Univan, is not optimistic. While reckoning shipping might have hit the bottom, “it will stay this way for quite some time,” the Danish national warned.

“Shipping is hard hit by the 'new normal',” he explained, “where global GDP growth is perhaps only half of what it was in the years up to 2007. This is seriously affecting growth in global trade and a subsequent reduction in demand for additional tonnage in the years ahead. We need to see equilibrium in the demand/supply balance before a sustained recovery can take place. Once we do, however, it may well be the start of quite a spectacular upturn, perhaps from 2015 or 2016.”

So that’s what some of the top people in our business are telling us, now it’s time to hear from you. 

When will dry bulk freight rates recover to profitable levels? Vote HERE. [15/02/13]

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