Hong Kong-listed dry bulk shipping company Pacific Basin Shipping Limited saw a significant hike in vessel earnings in the third quarter of the year.
Handysize and Supramax daily time-charter equivalent (TCE) earnings were USD 10,080 and USD 12,180 per day net respectively in the third quarter, representing an improvement of 24% and 30% year-on-year.
The company further added that year-to-date average Handysize and Supramax daily net TCE earnings increased 23% and 30% year-on-year to USD 9,870 and USD 11,780, outperforming the BHSI and BSI spot market indices by 22% and 9% respectively.
Vessel earnings increased due to an improvement of market fundamentals driven primarily by historically low growth in global dry bulk capacity. Newbuilding deliveries in the first nine months were one third lower year-on-year, and the global dry bulk fleet overall grew by around 2.3% net between January and September, similar to the same period last year.
Clarksons Research estimates that global dry bulk capacity will grow around 2.7% net in the full year 2018 and 2.8% in 2019, as compared to 3% in 2017. The combined Handysize and Supramax capacity is estimated to grow about 2.2% in 2018 and less than 2% in 2019.
In addition, fuel oil prices have increased contributing to slower ship operating speeds since May and, in turn, reduced dry bulk supply and therefore improved market conditions.
The increasing gap between newbuilding and secondhand prices as well as uncertainty over future ship design requirements continued to discourage new ship ordering which in the first nine months of 2018, annualised, represented 3.3% of the global dry bulk fleet and 1.5% of the combined Handysize and Supramax fleet.
Despite increasing trade tensions, the outlook for widely-spread global GDP growth remains favourable, which bodes well for dry bulk demand.
Pacific Basin said that a small fraction of goods has been affected by the trade conflict between the United States and China, primarily soybean, as well as forest products and cement.
” A protracted trade conflict between the United States and China would weaken sentiment which, in the longer run, could impact global GDP growth and consequently overall trade and dry bulk demand. However, we continue to believe that the negative impact these protectionist actions have on the dry bulk trade will be largely outweighed by moderate dry bulk fleet growth and continued global dry bulk trade growth overall,” the company said.
Overall, the company is bullish on market outlook and reaping the gains from its recovery.
“Our healthy cash and net gearing positions enhance our ability to take advantage of opportunities to grow our business and attract cargo as a strong partner,” the shipowner said.
During the third quarter, Pacific Basin purchased and took delivery of one secondhand Supramax vessel, increasing its owned fleet to 109 ships on the water. Including chartered ships, the company operated an average of 216 ships overall during the quarter.
Three more ships purchased in May are scheduled to deliver over the next five months, bringing the fleet to 112 ships.