Shipping Confidence on a 15 Month High

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On Tuesday, Moore Stephens said the average shipping confidence level rose from 5.4 in August 2016 to 5.6 out of 10.0 in November 2016 – the highest rating since August 2015.

While all main categories of the survey increased from August 2016, Charterers’ confidence achieved a particularly notable increase, rising 2.0 points to 6.8 -the highest figure for such respondents since the survey was initiated in May 2008.

Meanwhile, the confidence of owners increased from 5.3 in August to 5.4 in November, brokers from 4.5 to 5.6, and managers from 6.0 to 6.4.

A number of survey respondents are noted to have expressed a belief that the bottom of the market’s cycle had been reached, and a trend toward recovery will now commence.

Concern was also expressed by survey respondents who see over tonnaging, insufficient recycling, and increased cost for regulatory compliance as the market’s significant challenges.

Further, it was noted that competition is likely to influence performance the most over the next 12 month period.

“Despite overtonnaging, weak freight rates, declining demand, insufficient recycling, Brexit, Syria, Trump, despite everything, shipping is still looking up, rather than down,” said Richard Greiner, Moore Stephens Partner, Shipping & Transport.

“This is not to deny the reality of today’s difficult market, or the sluggish economic climate. But it does say much for the strength of shipping’s backbone and the quality of its mettle.”

Separately, when asked what they considered to be the most significant source of funding for compliance with Ballast Water Management (BWM) regulation by shipowners, 21 percent of respondents felt that shipowner equity would provide the source of funding, 19 percent said bank finance, 15 percent said BWM system manufacturers, 12 percent said shipyards, and 10 percent said other non-bank finance.

One respondent commenting on requirements for BWM system installation said: “financing BWM is almost impossible.  Owners have no money for it.”

This is the third successive quarter of improvement for shipping confidence, following the three months to the end of August, which saw the average confidence level increase to 5.4 from 5.1 at the end of May.

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Source: Moore Stephens

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