Dry-Bulk Shipping Conditions Likely to Weaken, Platou Says

Conditions in the dry-bulk shipping market are likely to weaken this year as the supply of ships expands faster than demand, according to RS Platou Economic Research, a unit of Norway’s largest shipbroker.

The fleet of commodity carriers will swell by 11 percent to 12 percent this year, about double Platou’s forecasted expansion of 5 percent to 6 percent in seaborne commodities trade.

“The fleet will grow at a higher rate than tonnage demand, resulting in a further weakening of the market fundamentals,” Bjorn Bodding, a senior partner at Platou Economic Research, said in a report sent by e-mail today. “Any potential upsides appear limited.”

The 14-member Bloomberg Pure Play Dry Bulk Shipping Index, measuring the share prices of companies hauling raw materials, declined 26 percent in the past year. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of freight rates, fell 41 percent over the same time.

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