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Monday, April 06, 2009

Ship owners gloomy but feel bottom has been reached: survey

Monday, 06 April 2009

Overall confidence levels in the shipping industry have declined by more than 20 per cent over the past 12 months. But, according to the latest Shipping Confidence Survey produced by major UK-based international shipping accountant and consultant Moore Stephens, some owners think things could soon start to improve. One year on from the first Moore Stephens survey, the average confidence level expressed by respondents, on a scale of one to 10, was 5.4, compared to 6.8 in the initial survey in February 2008, said Maritime Global Net.
In the past four months, the average confidence level fell from 5.6 to 5.4, and was most significantly down among owners and managers, with the level falling to 5.4 in each category from previous levels of 5.8 and 6.0 respectively. One year ago, owners and managers recorded confidence levels of 7.1 and 7.2 respectively.
Despite the drop in average confidence levels, a number of respondents felt that things were likely to improve over the coming 12 months and beyond.
"As owners we have already touched the bottom, and I don't believe we can go any lower," a respondent said. Another said "we are quite confident that there will continue to be good business opportunities in the months ahead, and perhaps this is a good time to enter the market from the point of view of investment."
Other comments included, "In 12 months' time, the market will have factored in most of the bad news and market confidence will start to return, led by the US, Europe and Asia", and "Shipping will start an upward trend in the third quarter".
The survey also confirmed that there are winners in every downturn. One respondent observed that, "Given what is happening with some Chinese yards at present, it would be no surprise to find that some builders may become owners and start operating the vessels they build".
Another observed, "We expect some real opportunities in terms of low-price, quality vessels", while yet another said, "Cash-rich buyers will be looking at the bargains of the millennium come the summer."

Source: Emirates Business