The following blog post was prepared by Apurva Mali in his personal capacity and shared with Manifold Times. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of Dubai-based commodities trading firm Ennero where is he employed as Trading Manager.
In My Opinion, (hereafter labelled IMO), outlook for 2019 for the Global Maritime Industry is not-great. But when has it ever been Great?
Yes shipping is cyclical with sharp peaks and prolonged troughs, and in my 16-year career, nothing I’ve seen overall, IMO, has come close to the highs of the pre-2008 peaks.
How does one know if the maritime industry will do well or not this year? And who has the more accurate synopsis? The ‘outlooks’ vary and point to all the varying 360 degree opinions. In this case, lets imagine the actual ship to represent the shipping industry and the external weather conditions represent the external forces the ship (industry) has to contend with. The industry is often just like a large ship changing its course without control, when its own power or steering ability fails to work, and is at the mercy of the wind and the seas. World-trade-related macro figures, brokers’ reports, shipowners and financier’s’ views all reveal a different story in line with their own understanding and objectives.
A few shipowners I spoke to while writing this, from different segments (dry bulk tanker and offshore) revealed in the simplest of words, ‘Market is bad and competition eroding margins’, and one of them even commented, ‘I’d rather be sunbathing at the beach than commenting on freight rates’, only watching ships from a distance. Perhaps ships (and the industry?) do look much prettier and calm from a distance.
IMO, the maritime shipping industry is indeed a ship without its own power or propulsion. It continues swaying and swinging within its ‘6 degrees of freedom’ (FYI, the 6 degrees are: pitch, heave, roll, surge, sway and yaw), at the mercy of the external forces of world trade, protectionism, new-fuel-regulations, a slowing China and supply-demand imbalance. And this year, even more than in 2018, it is super-obsessed with the new sulphur-emission regulations expected to come into force in 2020.
It only remains to be seen if the external forces will keep pushing the industry against its own free will and decision making. Amongst many other weather forces in 2019, IMO, it will have to also contend with two, very significant events taking place, when the world’s two largest democracies (India and USA) will host their General Elections, with each incumbent leader trying to make it Great, once again.
Readers who are interested to reach out to Apurva Mali may contact him at the following address email@example.com or mobile number at +971 50 605 1905.
Published: 12 February, 2019
Bunker orders of ISO 8217:2010 spec LS 380 cSt 0.5% for Nord Gemini, Nord Titan, Ocean Rosemary, and Luzern were placed through global commodities trading and logistics house Trafigura Pte Ltd.
While Covid-19 concerns are important, Captain Rahul Choudhuri was quick to note this does not mean bunker fuel related issues have indeed disappeared from the shipping sector.
‘Therefore, representing the players of the Malaysian bunker industry, we sincerely hope that this matter can be refined and reconsidered immediately so that all parties benefit together,’ says communication.
Maureen Poh, a Director of Helmsman LLC, offers plain practical tips on the differences between US and EU Sanctions and shares some thoughts on what companies could do if they are potentially exposed to sanctioned entities.
‘We [Consort Bunkers] have the opinion that the bunker business in Singapore is not related to the widely reported earlier cargo commodity trading mishaps,’ company source tells Manifold Times.
Representatives of INTERTANKO, Helmsman and Rajah & Tann gather to discuss IMO 2020, legal frameworks for the purchase and supply of alternative marine fuels, and the handling of bunker claims.