IMDO: Northern European Container Volumes About to Climb

Box traffic in Northern Europe’s six largest ports will rise by 6.9% in the latter half of 2014, the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) said in its Shipping Market Review referring to the Lloyd’s List findings.

According to the latest Global Port tracker report published by Hackett Associates and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics, imports will increase 5.1% and exports 2.5% throughout Europe during the six-month period.

As indicated in the Review, total container volumes throughout 2014 are expected to increase, with imports estimated to expand by 4.3% to 20.5m TEU and exports by 4.8% to 20.6m TEU. It is expected that volumes will fluctuate with regard to region, as a market-share war happening between Hamburg, Rotterdam and Antwerp is likely to continue for the rest of this year.

Ben Hackett on behalf of Hackett Associates warned: “As the European Central Bank continues with its extremely low interest rate policy, the demand side of the equation remains firmly in the hands of the consumer boosted in confidence with solid growth in the UK and Germany.”

With regard to the dry bulk market, tight tonnage and record supplies of iron ore for shipment look set to cause a doubling of Capesize rates to $28,000 in 2015, according to a consensus of shipping analysts, with fund manager Liberum Capital claiming that mining companies will feel the squeeze on margins.

Mining Weekly reported that steadily declining investment in newbuild vessels in the dry bulk market, combined with record growth in iron ore production will result in a shortage of tonnage over the coming 12 months, leading to the surge in Capesize rates.

Iron ore miners followed by coal miners are expected to bear the brunt of this freight inflation, with downgrades of the 2015 consensus earnings per share (EPS) for Rio Tinto (-13%), Anglo American (-9%) and BHP Billiton (-9%). Liberum further projected an 81% rate increase for the Panamax class, 66% increase for Supramax and 57% increase for Handysize vessels.

IMDO, July 10th, 2014, Image: Crowley

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