A 10-page report into shipping prospects for 2016 issued today by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s makes for grim reading.
The company, which tracks 16 shipping companies across the world, only had positive words to say about tanker firms.
“[W]e expect that rating activity will continue to be weighted towards downgrades this year, as our negative outlooks on one-quarter of the rated shipping portfolio indicate,” S&P warned.
As well as slowing China growth, S&P said ship operators will continue to face “structural and chronic oversupply” in their markets. The report hit out at the “poor supply discipline” among shipowners.
On dry bulk, S&P does not anticipate any year-on-year rebound in average charter rates in 2016 because it does not see any immediate demand-side stimulus or supply-side relief.
For containerlines, S&P said they are experiencing “severe freight-rate volatility and downward pressure on the primary and secondary routes that has intensified in recent months”, a trend the agency expects to continue into the next year.
“Another round of consolidation is likely among container liners in search of cost efficiencies and stronger bargaining positions,” S&P suggested.