The outlook for the largest crude oil carriers is turning optimistic as the winter season begins to cause an increased demand for oil.
Carriers which deliver 2 million barrels of oil from the Persian Gulf to Asia switched from negative to positive postings as the upwardly moving demand helped to shrink the glut of ships waiting for work.
As of November 4th the large crude carriers on the key Saudi Arabia-to-Japan route were earning $554/day after posting a loss the day before of $623, as reported in the Baltic Exchange from London.
As winter demand for Persian Gulf oil rises refineries will most likely hire more ships during the next few weeks. It is expected that this will propel daily earning to move upwards, according to an analyst at the Oslo-based RS Platou Markets AS, Herman Hildan:
“We may finish the most active week this year today, which has brought the four-week Middle East Gulf supply down to less than 70 from 110 a month ago,” Hildan said in his report.
Rents for Panamax vessels have experienced record increases over the past four months of operation as US grain imports and coal imports to China fueled demand. Panamax ships are the largest vessels which are capable of navigating the waters of the Panama Canal. Due to the recent increased demand the daily rates for renting these ships increased by 2.7% to $14,567.
This 2.7% raise was the largest seen since May 25 of this year, and represents the eighth session in a row in which hiring rates went up.
Rental rates for panamaxe s vessels for use on the Atlantic Ocean for transport to Asia also climbed by 1.5% to $24,813 per day, the highest amount since April 1, 2011. This route is the most expensive of any other shipping routes.
Overall trading on shares in the services sector and transportation industry are not doing well, and Nordic American Tanker Shipping has felt the pinch, as indicated by the fact that the value of its shares have experienced a 14.8% decline so far this year as of last Friday’s market closing. This downturn represents the lowest the company’s stock has been valued during the past year.
Nordic American Tanker Shipping, which has a market cap of $1 billion, is part of the generally weak sector. Nordic American Tanker Shipping is a subsidiary of Nordic American Tankers Limited, which is an international tanker company.
The company operates its own double hull crude oil tankers in the spot market, time charters, or on bareboat charters. It owns 20 double-hull Suezmax tankers, four of which are newly christened.
Orient Overseas Container Line, OOCL, posted what it described as “disappointing” second quarter statistics as rates for services compete with rising operational costs on the east-west trades.
The bad news comes in spite of the fact that second quarter volumes grew a steady 6.5% over the past year. That is because there was an 18.3% rise in loadable capacity, which cut into the volume and created an actual overall load factor which declined by 8.3%. Due to this decrease the average revenue was pulled down almost 5% per TEU.
OOCL said in its quarterly update to its investors that, “The difficult trading conditions seen in the first quarter of this year have continued in the second quarter, and the outlook for the full year is disappointing.”
Russian shipping concerns have been using the Arctic route in all seasons for decades, but until recently this route has not been an option for most other shipping companies.
Last year Nordic Bulk Carriers sent their cargo ship the MV Nordic Barents from Kirkens port in Norway on September 4 with 40,000 tonnes or iron ore to sail through the North Sea route, coming to port in Xingang in northern China three weeks later, making history.
The route took the MV Nordic Barents along the northern coast of Russia and through the Bering Strait, a trip that has been made possible only recently through the combination of retreating sea ice due to global warming, plus the desire of the Russians to compete with the prevailing routes to the ever-growing Asian markets.
The benefits of the North Sea route were expressed by Christian Bonfils, the CEO of Nordic Bulk Carriers.
“The whole trip went very well. There were no big delays and it was a lot cheaper. Just compared to going via the Cape of Good Hope, the savings for fuel alone was around $550,000.”
The pros and cons of derivatives were hotly debated at the recent Containerization International shipping conference in London.
Derivatives can affect some of the major shipping companies around the world, such as Gold Star Lines, Tanker Pacific and APL, and are therefore a hot topic for debate on their worthiness.
The senior vice president of CMA CGM Group, Nicolas Sartini said that derivative were of little value since they are based on doubtful data in the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI.) Also on the side against derivatives was Jean Louis Cambon, in charge of ocean management at Michelin. He added that derivatives would most likely lead to market volatility and would commoditize line shipping.
In favor of derivatives was Brian Dempsey, the commercial director of Kerry Logistics UK. He explained that he has found the SCFI a reliable indicator. He has seen the SCFI match his own personal price tracking over the past two years. Joining him was Lars Jensen, CEO of Denmark’s Sealntell Maritime Analysis consultancy. He said that freight derivatives were of “colossal” value and helped to hedge against volatility.
John Maccarone, Textainer Group Holdings Limited’s CEO announced that he would step down to retirement later this year. He wills till remain with a significant amount of stocks and be a director in the company.
Philip Brewer is et to replace him as the CEO. Brewer is currently the Executive Vice President of Textainer and has been with the company since 1999. Since serving as Executive VP of the company from 2006 he has managed Textainer’s capital structure and identified new sources of finance for the Company. Before 2006 Philip Brewer was senior vice president of Textainer’s asset management group.