Belgian dry cargo shipping specialist Bocimar has reported a USD 45.5 million operating loss for the annual period ending December 31, 2014, compared to a USD 3.5 million gain in 2013.
Bocimar’s parent company Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) described 2014 as ‘‘a big disappointment for the dry bulk markets.”
The Belgian operator says that there were some positive developments within the sector, such as a record growth in exports of iron ore, a limited growth of the dry bulk fleet, an increase in raw material movements into India, and a nine month period of high bunker prices forcing vessels to maintain eco or super slow steaming and not release extra capacity into the market.
But those positives were outweighed by a strong decline in commodity prices that reduced stock building, the growth of the coal market that remained below expectations, the toll of the Indonesian ban on the export of mineral ores, and a reduction of congestion in both loading and discharging ports through improved logistics.
Quite apart from all the strong and weak factors that impacted the dry bulk markets in 2014, Bocimar predicts that current overcapacity will need to be absorbed before sustainable freight rates are achievable, with the markets remaining volatile in the meantime.