confidence reached a four-year high in the three months to end-February 2018,
according to Moore Stephens’ latest Shipping Confidence Survey.
showed that the average confidence level was up from 6.2 out of 10.0 in
November 2017 to 6.4 this time. Confidence on the part of owners was also at a
four-year high, up from 6.4 to 6.6, while managers’ confidence was up too, from
6.1 to 6.4.
for charterers, however, continued its recent erratic performance – down to 5.0
from 7.7 in November 2017, but up on the 4.7 recorded in August 2017.
Confidence on the part of brokers, meanwhile, was down from 6.3 to 6.1.
Confidence was up in Europe
from 6.3 to 6.6, equalling the highest ever rating for this category of
respondent in the life of the survey, which was launched in May 2008 with an
average confidence rating across all respondents in all geographical areas of
6.8. Confidence was also up in Asia, from 5.7 to 6.3, and in North America,
from 5.8 to 5.9.
of respondents who expected finance costs to increase over the coming year was
up from 59% last time to 64%, the highest figure since May 2008 (66%).
“Starting next year, the industry looks set to benefit from capacity
reductions at shipyards, but the cost of funding will rise for most market
trends, meanwhile, were cited by 24% of respondents as the factor expected to
influence performance most significantly over the coming 12 months, followed by
competition (19%) and finance costs (15%).
“The shipping market is still characterised by high volatility and
excess tonnage in most sectors, particularly bulk carriers and tankers, but
there is cause for slight optimism,” another respondent said.
The volatile nature of the
shipping industry dictates that optimism should be tempered with caution, Moore
Stephens said, adding that the four-year high in confidence “must be welcomed as extremely good news.”