Taylor Maritime Investments (TMI) has had a relatively busy start to the year, having secured employment for six of its vessels this month. The London-listed company has fixed one vessel on a one-year charter while five vessels are, however, on less than six-month charters in anticipation of stronger rates later this quarter.
In the latest trading update, the Ed Buttery-led bulker owner said it will continue to spread contracted revenue across short, medium and long-term charters with a current bias towards the short-term given the time of year and the expectation that the market will improve in the second half of the quarter following Chinese New Year. Taylor Maritime Investments’ current fleet average net charter rate is around $19,000 per day, with an average remaining charter duration of seven months, which the company said it expects to increase over the next two quarters.
The company also stated that it expects a healthy outlook for 2022, notwithstanding a drop at the end of Q4 as spot demand reflected negative sentiment caused by the Chinese construction industry’s issues and usual seasonal downturn. According to TMI, demand for period time charters has been firming, indicating that consumers anticipate an increase in demand in the medium to long term. “Additional support for handysize freight rates has continued to be provided by container cargoes being carried on dry bulk ships and from port congestion, both of which might recede in the medium-term,” the company added.
According to TMI, minor bulk demand growth is expected to continue to outpace fleet supply growth in 2022. The handysize segment, in which the company operates, has an orderbook at historic lows, standing at 4.6% of the existing fleet and underpinning favourable forward supply dynamics, the company noted, adding that the orderbook has a staggered delivery over the next three years, with 2.5% coming in 2022, 1.7% in 2023 and 0.5% in 2024, citing Clarksons data. This remains the lowest compared with all the larger dry bulk segments and non-dry bulk shipping segments.
“We’re optimistic about the outlook for 2022 and expect that the market will start to firm again after Chinese New Year in anticipation of two to three years of further strength,” Buttery commented.
In addition to the six fixtures, the company completed the sale of one ship agreed for sale in connection with the Grindrod Shipping transaction and expects to deliver the second ship agreed for sale within this quarter, as well as the delivery of one acquired asset in early February. Following these transactions, TMI’s fleet will stand at 30 ships.