AsiaDry Cargo

Mercator quits dry bulk

Mercator Lines (Singapore) (MLS) is exiting dry bulk. The Singapore-listed arm of the Indian owner outlined plans to divest itself from dry bulk in a release today.

The news follows on from Friday’s announcement of a mass resignation of non-executive board directors at the Singaporean company.

MLS has debts of more than $165m and has been racking up significant losses in recent years – $125m for fiscal 2015 alone.

“The Bulk Carriers business has been the worst affected by the downturn in the shipping cycle, with the Baltic Dry Freight having collapsed from a level of 11,793 in 2008 to 373 on January 15, 2016 and not showing any signs of early revival in future,” the company said in a statement.

The fleet of MLS consists of 12 owned ships and one chartered in – a mix of panamaxes and kamsarmaxes.

The company stressed that all other divisions of Mercator India – including dredging, tankers, coal, logistics, oil and gas – are operating “satisfactorily”.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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