Golden Ocean CEO Takes Comfort in Dry Bulk Order Book at 15-year Low

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 28, 2017

** Dry bulk shipper Golden Ocean's CEO Birgitte Ringstad Vartdal says industry now faces more positive outlook after market brutal downturn

** Says demand is picking up, supported by increase in steel consumptions both in China and in the rest of the world; coal demand is a swing factor

** The single most important reason explaining an improving market however, is that fact that global orders for building new vessels continue to shrink

** Says order book stands at 15-year low, equivalent to 77 mln dead weight tonnes in orders at the start of the year or about 10 percent of the present dry bulk fleet

** Says actual deliveries of new vessels expected to be even lower, 53 mln dwt is more realistic

** says assuming no more orders this year, order book will stand at 3 pct of the current fleet at end-2017

** CEO: Comparing that with the older part of the fleet, 16 pct of the vessels are more than 15 years, and with new regulations more scrapping should be expected

** CEO: I think the most important factor (for an improved market) is a limit of new orders. If that part is under control we expect to see an improvement in the market

** CEO: Seeks to maintain exposure in spot market in anticipation of a further improvement in rates

** CEO: Despite recent rise in spot rates dry bulk rate are at low level

** CFO Per Heiberg: Expects lower operational earnings in Q1 vs Q4 due to seasonality

(Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord, editing by Terje Solsvik)
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