Saturday, November 28, 2009

Baltic Exchange Dry Bulk Index Wavers As Confusion Worries Shipping Groups

Signs of Recovery Stall in Light of Dubai Crisis but Hope Remains
Shipping News Feature

WORLD WIDE – News that the Baltic Exchange Dry Bulk Index figures were down for a sixth straight session, plus the financial situation in Dubai, conveniently revealed during the Thanksgiving holiday, have naturally caused a flurry of concern amongst those who habitually track such freight industry indicators religiously. Rarely however do such instantly accessible statistics tell the precise story.

Ben Kowtho reports from the Handy Shipping Guide Thailand office that the country’s leading dry bulk shipper, Thoresen Thai Agencies (TTA) will not be too disappointed by this quarters figures, released today, which show a reduction in profit of 78%. Despite the drop, principally caused by the freight rate reductions endemic recently, plus less than desirable returns from other sectors, the group still returned around $14 million profit for the period. The group offer a fair reflection of the market as shippers of all the main dry bulk cargo groups, coal, iron and derivatives, agricultural grains etc.

Shippers would do well to remember that the Baltic had previously risen in seventeen straight sessions from previous desperate lows, and that with China showing a renewed appetite for coal and iron ore, recent good news stories in the market, plus a survey of several established market carriers in Asia and Australia all expressing qualified optimism for short term traffic, things may not be quite as gloomy as many would have us believe.

Pic: Shentian Shusong Jixie grain thrower in action.