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Friday, April 03, 2009

Nobu Su Says Dry Bulk, Commodities Have Probably Reached Bottom

Friday, 03 April 2009

The cost of shipping coal, ore and grains and the price of commodities have probably fallen as far as they will in this recession because government spending will bolster demand, shipping investor Nobu Su said. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping costs for commodities, plunged a record 92 percent last year, while the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials dropped 36 percent, its worst performance in a half century. The Baltic Dry Index has more than doubled this year and the CRB gauge retreated a further 5.4 percent.
"In dry, we see the market has hit bottom," Su, chief executive officer of Taipei-based TMT Co. Ltd., said in an interview in London today. "Money supply will increase dramatically and we are seeing commodities hit bottom too."
Demand collapsed as Japan, Europe and the U.S. grappled with recessions. Global growth is likely to shrink for the first time since World War II and trade may decline the most in 80 years, the World Bank forecast last month. The CRB's peak in July marked the end of a bull market that began in 2001.
TMT operates a fleet of about 130 vessels of which half are coal, ore and grain ships and the rest transport cargoes including oil and gas. It owns 30 of those carriers and has 18 more being built. The new craft have a design that will cut fuel costs by 10 to 15 percent, Su said.
TMT stopped trading so-called forward freight agreements, derivatives used by traders to bet on future costs to ship commodities, in May last year to focus on its physical shipping business, Su said.

Source: Alaric Nightingale, Bloomberg