World Maritime News

Clarksons: VLGC Earnings 42 Pct below Trend

Very large gas carriers (VLGC) have seen their earnings dwindle 42 percent below trend, as the tanker market moved into negative territory in the first half of this year, Clarksons Research reported in a half-year review.

“The larger ships are feeling the biggest correction as fleet growth, particularly on the crude side, remains rapid and oil trade growth slows. Aside from a small pickup in the LNG market in recent weeks, the gas markets remain weak,” Clarksons claims.

” Some increased activity, project sanctioning and investor interest has not yet taken offshore off the ‘naughty step.'”

Ro-Ro seems to be the only sector above trend earning USD 18,458/day for a 3,500 lm vessel, 42 percent above trend.

Interest in ferry and cruise ship construction, including expedition ships, remains firm, with a record orderbook of USD 44.2bn.

Bulker earnings remain below trend, defined as the average since the financial crisis, but are showing signs of improvement. Capesize spot earnings moved from an average of USD 4,972/day in 1H 2016 to USD 13,086/day (75 percent below trend versus 33 percent below trend), Clarksons’ data shows.

“Indeed, based on the first quarter alone, Panamax earnings moved above trend for the first time since 2014 and we have certainly seen lots of S&P activity,” the review further adds.

“The containership sector has responded to the Hanjin bankruptcy with another wave of consolidation (the top ten liner companies now operate 75 percent of capacity) and some improvements, albeit with lots of volatility, in freight rates. Improved volumes, demolition and the re-alignment of liner networks, helped improve charter rates and indeed feeder containerships rates have moved above trend for the first time since 2011. Although some gains have been eroded moving into the summer, fundamentals for both these sectors suggest improvements in coming years but it may be a bumpy road!”

Clarksons is projecting full year growth of 3.4 percent (to 11.5bn tonnes and 57,000bn tonne-miles), with overall fleet growth of 2.3 percent still below trend but an increase on 1H 2016 (1.6%). Despite a pick-up in newbuild ordering to 24m dwt (up 27 percent y-o-y), this remains 52 percent below trend.

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