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Dry bulk market posts first rebound in a week

Friday, 24 February 2012 | 00:00
As was expected since mid-week, the dry bulk market's benchmark, the BDI (Baltic Dry Index) has managed to put a stop in a 6-day losing rally, ending yesterday’s session up by 0.28% at 706 points. Still, it was the Panamax market’s dreadful state that prevented the market from recovering even more, as the respective BPI (Baltic Panamax Index) was down by 2.53%, offsetting the rest of the market. Capesizes were up by 0.75% yesterday to 1,471 points, while Supras and Handies were also trading on a higher note, ending the session with gains of 0.94% and 1.03% respectively.
In any case the market is hugely depressed as a result of tonnage oversupply. In a recent research note, Mr. George Lazaridis of shipbroker Intermodal noted that “in the beginning of 2011, we had around 1,447 vessels scheduled for delivery plus another 111 vessels which were originally scheduled for 2010 and had been delayed and rescheduled to be delivered in 2011. Of these, only 1,007 were eventually delivered, while 403 were rescheduled for a later delivery date and 148 were cancelled. In terms of the original orders, this is a cancellation rate of close to 10% and a slippage rate of more than 25%” said Mr. Lazaridis in an effort to shed some light on the dry bulk market’s most pressing issue.
He went on by stating that “for 2012 things look a lot grimmer, with over 1,714 vessels now scheduled for delivery this year of which 403 of these are vessels that were originally planned for a 2011 delivery. Taking a case where we would see similar percentage of cancellations and slippages, the total number of deliveries could still reach as high as 1,115 vessels. However, even this is likely to be too high of an estimate as we are facing a lot more problems in the market then we were a year back” Mr. Lazaridis said.


According to his note, “the charter market has deteriorated considerably compared to the levels seen during the same period last year. What is more, is that the charter market has been generally in trouble for some time now, which means that owners have more than once had to reach into their pocket in order to keep their vessels’ operations running smoothly. This means that many have been left with minimal excess cash and would look more favorably at the option of delaying their newbuilding orderbook and as such delaying the payment schedules as well. At the same time sourcing finance for shipping assets has only gotten worse, and it is expected that quite a significant portion of the orderbook has not managed to secure financial backing, in effect further decreasing the possibility that these vessels will be built. All in all we could end up seeing less than 60% of the scheduled deliveries actually hitting the water within this year, which although a still considerable number in terms of active fleet growth is still more manageable and would leave prospects of a quicker market recovery” concluded Intermodal’s analyst.
In another market analysis, CARE Research said that it expects the shipping volumes in the dry bulk segment to continue to remain driven by the Chinese demand for coal and iron-ore. In addition, the Japanese import demand for coal and iron ore for the nation’s re-building efforts post the natural disasters is expected to propel the dry bulk trading volumes. However, with the dry bulk vessel deliveries as a % of existing fleet expected to average 25.5% and 6.8% for CY12 & CY13, the additions to the already excess capacity of dry bulk fleet is expected to affect the freight rates. Correspondingly, CARE Research expects the BDI is to remain range-bound ranging from 1,500- 3,000 levels during CY12 & CY13.
Adding further to to the worsening situation of declining trading volumes and over-capacity of existing vessels, CARE Research expects the global fleet size to surge from 1,030.7 million GT as on December 31, 2011 to 1,200.8 million GT as on December 31, 2013 implying a CAGR of 7.9%. This in turn would affect the utilisation rates of vessels ultimately resulting in decline of freight rates. CARE Research expects the said growth in fleet size to be primarily driven by the orders in the dry bulk segment accounting for 35.5% of the total dry bulk fleet size as on November 30, 2011.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide
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