Mitsui O.S.K. Jumps as Capacity Cuts May Boost Cargo Rates

A Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. dry-bulk cargo
An undated company handout image shows a Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. dry-bulk cargo. Source: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. via Bloomberg News

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., Japan’s largest shipping line by market value, surged the most in a month in Tokyo trading on speculation container lines’ capacity cuts may revive rates.

The company jumped 6.2 percent to close at 240 yen. Nippon Yusen KK climbed 5 percent and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. rose 5.7 percent.

The three shipping lines, all based in Tokyo, may be able to raise cargo-boxes rates after AP Moeller-Maersk A/S, the world’s largest container line, announced plans to merge services and MISC Bhd. said it would stop operating cargo-box ships, said Ryota Himeno, an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. Maersk and MISC are acting because global overcapacity has depressed rates and caused industrywide losses.

“Other lines may follow Maersk, which will benefit sales,” Himeno said. MISC’s withdrawal “will also bring some side benefits to the Japanese lines,” he said.

In Hong Kong, China Cosco Holdings Co., the nation’s biggest container line, rose 4.6 percent, while second-ranked China Shipping Container Lines Co. climbed 8.7 percent. Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. gained 4 percent in Singapore.

Maersk plans to combine an India-Europe service with an Asia-Europe one from early February, the Copenhagen-based company said Nov. 25. The shipping line also plans to announce capacity cuts on the Asia-Europe routes, Tim Smith, the head of its north Asia operations, said last week.

MISC will stop operating container vessels by the end of June, it said last week. The Kuala Lumpur-based company, which predominately operates tankers, said it has lost $789 million in it container-shipping unit over the past three years.

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