Fitch Ratings: Gloomy Outlook for Global Shipping amid Overcapacity Woes

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…As Aliko Dangote emerges one of Bloomberg’s 50 world best***

The outlook for the global shipping industry remains negative, according to Fitch Ratings, as the rating agency doesn’t expect a material improvement in market fundamentals in 2018 due to lingering overcapacity.

As explained, both container and bulk markets show signs of a revival, but the longevity of this trend remains uncertain due to limited adherence to capacity discipline in the sector. Improving market sentiment and a focus on scale and vessel size have stimulated new orders. The supply and demand dynamics are likely to support container, bulk and LNG rates, but tanker rates could remain under pressure.

The tanker shipping segment is the most exposed following a glut of new vessel deliveries in 2017.

“We expect demand for tankers to grow by around 4% in 2018, helped by rising global oil consumption, higher US exports and declining oil inventories. But this would still only broadly match the expected growth in tanker supply. Rates, therefore, may not fall further, but a sustained increase is unlikely,” Fitch Ratings said.

Container shipping freight rates have increased this year, but overcapacity makes this recovery fragile and previous rate increases have proved short-lived, the rating agency added. Any improvement in market sentiment tends to stimulate new orders, and this happened again when new orders, including for mega-ships, surged in the third quarter of 2017.

To remind, two container shipping giants, MSC and CMA CGM, have ordered a total of twenty 22,000 TEU mega boxships at Korean and Chinese shipyards.

“We expect supply growth to be over 5.5% in 2018, outpacing a likely over 4.5% increase in container transport volume growth. A sustainable recovery in rates will need continuous and consistent capacity discipline in the industry. This could be driven by consolidation in the sector over the medium term,” Fitch added.

According to the agency, the recent recovery in dry bulk shipping rates may also prove short-lived, although unlike for the other segments the demand is expected to outstrip the growth in vessel supply in 2018.

The market balance will be helped by the low level of new vessel orders for the last three years. China will remain the key driver for dry bulk commodities imports and trade, and the sector is therefore particularly sensitive to Chinese GDP growth, which is expected to be 6.4% in 2018, Fitch Ratings concluded.

In the meantime, President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has emerged one of the selected best 50 persons in the world in 2017.

Bloomberg, a global information and technology company that connects decision-makers to a dynamic network of data, people and ideas – “accurately delivering business and financial information, news and insights to customers around the world,” on Monday announced The Bloomberg 50, a new, yearly, multi-platform initiative that honors 50 icons and innovators who have changed the global business landscape in measurable ways over the past year.

The first Bloomberg 50 honorees were selected by the Bloomberg Businessweek team after months of input from many of Bloomberg’s 2,700 journalists and analysts around the globe, leveraging the resources of the Bloomberg Terminal, and represent the most influential thought leaders in business, finance, technology and science, politics and entertainment.

The executives, entrepreneurs, experts and entertainers on the Bloomberg 50 all have a quantifiable metric underpinning their inclusion.

“What sets The Bloomberg 50 apart from other lists is that each person chosen has demonstrated measurable change over the past year.

“Readers will find many names they recognise, but will also discover new visionaries—people who are impacting the world in significant ways, and are rapidly gaining the attention they deserve,” said Megan Murphy, editor of Bloomberg Businessweek.

Other prominent honoree on the Bloomberg 50 include – Mohammed bin Salman, Crown prince, Saudi Arabia, a primary proponent of an initiative that would allow women to drive, a decision that is forecast to add $90 billion to the economy by 2030; Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies with a market capitalisation of over $50 billion.

Elon Musk nurses the ambition to establish human colony on planet Mars by 2022; Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon, the biggest global retailer, with a major interest in sending tourists into space in Blue Origin rockets; Masayoshi Son, Founder, Softbank Groups Corp., who engineered the largest ever technology investment fund, $93 billion, to fund ride-hailing, artificial intelligence, connected devices, satellites, and the integration of computers to humans; Diane Greene, CEO, Google Cloud and the brain behind integrating advances in artificial intelligence and quantum computing to market; Ken Frazier, CEO, Merck & Co., a leader in drug makers market with an innovative drug for advanced lung cancer treatment.

Dangote, who only last week inaugurated his $300 million 1.5 mtpa capacity cement plant in Congo Brazzaville, has remained a top notch in various global ranking.

“I am very delighted with this selection and I see the recognition as a call to do more towards youth empowerment, job creation, better health for the people and economic emancipation of the African continent,” Dangote said.

World Maritime News with additional report from Guardian NG

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