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Oversupply, costly regulatory compliance dents shipping confidence

OVERALL confidence levels in the shipping industry fell during the three months to November to their lowest level in two years due to increasing concern about the high cost of achieving compliance with new regulations and ongoing doubts about surplus tonnage. 

Oversupply, costly regulatory compliance dents shipping confidence
15 December 2014 - 22:57

Oversupply, costly regulatory compliance dents shipping confidence

OVERALL confidence levels in the shipping industry fell during the three months to November to their lowest level in two years due to increasing concern about the high cost of achieving compliance with new regulations and ongoing doubts about surplus tonnage. 

However, according to the latest "Shipping Confidence Survey" from accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens, it was not all bad news, with charterers, managers and brokers more confident than they were three months previously of making a new investment over the coming year.

A number of respondents referred to continuing uncertainty in the markets, resulting from a variety of factors, the London's Tanker Operator reported. 

One respondent said: "The market remains directionless. It needs accelerated scrapping, which would make economic sense for owners of older tonnage. But, given the recent drop in fuel costs, such owners could elect to hold on to their ships for the time being."

Not everybody was pessimistic. Another respondent said: "The global markets are expected to pick up around mid-2015," but the viability of shipping depended on the scrapping of 60 per cent of all vessels over 20 years' old and on a drastic reduction in the number of new vessels being built.

"The shipping market will improve slightly over the next few months as it mirrors the slow improvement in global markets," said another. But not everyone agreed. "The road to recovery is very long and very hard." 



One said: "Europe is still struggling and it seems unlikely that things will improve soon, even if demand for shipping increases in other parts of the world where the economy is faring better."



Another noted: "The world economy is not as healthy as expected. China has changed its growth model, while Europe is struggling under austerity measures and a lack of investment. The US may be in better health, but it is not able to drag shipping out of the doldrums in the short term."

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