Singapore: Dry bulk has rarely faced a more perilous period as now with the number of bankruptcies expected to accelerate throughout 2016 as the Baltic Dry Index hovers at record lows.
A report by Drewry this week stated: “We see no recovery in sight over the next 12-18 months because Chinese growth pangs will continue to haunt the dry bulk market and vessels will burn cash in 2016 as freight rates remain under pressure. Any improvement in vessel utilisation and earnings look set to remain elusive with little prospect of change in the foreseeable future.”
Maritime CEO Forum, taking place at Singapore’s iconic Fullerton Hotel on March 15, features a very strong line up of shipowners for its dry bulk session. Tim Huxley, CEO of Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, James Marshall, CEO of Berge Bulk, Pankaj Khanna, CEO of Pioneer Marine and Khalid Hashim, managing director of Precious Shipping will be joined on stage by Michael Nagler, head of chartering at Noble Group for a very high powered discussion on where the dry bulk markets are headed.
Speaking at a dry bulk breakfast organised by Maritime CEO last November, Wah Kwong’s Huxley warned of a bloodbath in the sector in 2016.
Khanna, meanwhile, the most recent cover star of Maritime CEO magazine, told this title: “The freight rates being experienced are unprecedented.”
Precious’s Hashim, a man never short of a great quote, was recently tapped to help promote Asia Pacific Maritime, a Singapore exhibition taking place the day after the Maritime CEO Forum. “Macroeconomic factors such as the gloomy economy and plummeting scrap prices have slowed down business activities for the maritime and offshore industry,” Hashim was quoted as saying.
The dry bulk debate is one of four sessions at the Maritime CEO Forum. Tankers, vessel efficiency and human resources flesh out the rest of the half-day event, which is sponsored by Anglo-Eastern Univan Group, Dualog, DVB Bank, FCM Marine & Energy, Navigate Response, RightShip, Rustibus, Transas, Unimarine Lubricants, Veritas Petroleum Services, V.Ships and Wartsila.
Speakers for the other sessions will be revealed in the coming week.
On the high-level shipowner line up, Maritime CEO editor, Sam Chambers commented: “The forum’s set up has clearly chimed with the top echelon of shipping. A half-day, interactive, high calibre format promises something refreshingly different in what is a very crowded, and often dull and disappointing, maritime events space.”
For more details on the Maritime CEO Forum, visit the event website here.