SSY slashes dry bulk trade forecasts as uncertainties grow

SSY slashes dry bulk trade forecasts as uncertainties grow

In response to recent developments shipbroker Simpson Spence Young (SSY) has lowered its dry bulk trade forecasts and now anticipates minimal year-on-year growth in the first half of this year.

For 2019 as a whole, SSY Consultancy & Research expects seaborne dry bulk trade to expand 2%, the slowest rate of growth since 2015, which would compare with approximately 2.7% last year.

SSY said in a release on Friday that there are a “multitude of major uncertainties” at present for the short-term trade outlook. These include the implications for iron ore trade from last month’s tragic dam burst in Brazil and the subsequent temporary halt to production at some of Vale’s mines, the distortion of typical soya bean trade flows from the US-China trade war, and China’s appetite for imported coal in the remainder of 2019. The most of fundamental risk of all, SSY stated, is the underlying health of the global economy, including prospects for economic stimulus in China.

Dry bulk’s dire start to 2019 saw the Baltic Dry Index slide below 600 points earlier this month, but in the past week the index has shown signs of picking up. Vale’s multiple problems in the past month have been described as a “developing black swan story” in a dry bulk report from Cleaves Securities, issued earlier this month.

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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