Markets look for recovery
WONG JOON SAN
More buyers are out looking for bargains in the bulk-shipping market, a report from London says.
The Clarkson Shipping Intelligence Weekly report said its Clarkson bulk-carrier price index had risen 4 per cent over the past few weeks, with the price of some Panamaxes rising as much as 15 per cent.
Although people were buying vessels, it was not inflicting any pain on the bulk markets, it said.
Last year, the bulk-carrier fleet fell 1 per cent. The fleet is expected to expand this year and next year by less than 1 per cent.
'Biggest growth this year will be the 2.5 per cent of Panamax tonnage, and next year the 3.5 per cent of the Capesize market,' the report said, adding that it was a reasonable confidence booster.
The report said while that helped, the real need was for a turnaround in the growth of demand.
Clarkson said the dry-bulk trade cycle was expected to bottom out in the first quarter of this year.
The grain trade was already showing some signs of recovery, especially the return of the long-haul US exports to their previous dominant role, it said.
However, recovery during the rest of the year, while noticeable, would not boost the bulk market tremendously, it said.