Record bulk carrier investment translates into fleet growth which is expected to exceed trade growth between 2009 and 2011, according to the report. The impact of tightening credit on investors and yards will mean that some of this orderbook does not deliver on time or at all, though supply growth is predicted still to have the upper hand.
Other key forecasts in the report include:
Negative global economic sentiment magnified by the impact of short-term cost controls by Chinese industry in response to high commodity prices. Once a reversal in these costs filters through the supply chain, a rebound in Chinese demand and consequently freight rates is expected.
Shortages of thermal and coking coal in the Pacific and basins will result in increased long-haul shipments in the same way that has driven the iron ore market in recent years – for which ICAP Shipping has coined the term ‘Oceanic Imbalance.’
Demand is price-sensitive, with many trades priced out of the market in recent years. Lower freight rates would see increased demand for seaborne trade to replace high-cost domestic alternatives.
Though rates are expected to soften H2 2009 and continue to slide into 2010, seasonal spikes are still likely where short-term demand changes temporarily outweigh long-term fundamental trends.