Overall confidence levels in the shipping industry fell in the three months ended August 2012 to their lowest level for a year, according to the latest edition of the quarterly Shipping Confidence Survey
produced by the accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens.
It said this was the lowest level of confidence recorded by the poll since it was was launched in May 2008 and reverses a three successive quarters of improved confidence.
Chief among the concerns raised by respondents to the survey were the glut of newbuildings coming onto the market and continuing uncertainty about the global economy.
In August 2012, the average confidence level expressed by respondents in the markets in which they operate was 5.3 on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high).
Moore Stephens said overtonnaging was uppermost in the minds of many of the people who took part in the survey, with one noting “the only glimmer of hope is that we are approaching the limit of shipyards’ comfort zones. Yard overcapacity will become evident in the next 12 months and there will be fierce competition, even between established yards, to win new orders, which should drive prices to new lows and possibly force yards to come up with new designs.”
In the containership market, only 32 percent of respondents (compared to 34 percent three months earlier) are expecting rates to go up. In the previous survey, the number of respondents anticipating higher rates over the coming year was up in all categories, but this go-around it was down in all categories, with the exception of owners and charterers.
Expectations of improved container rates rates were up in Asia (from 28 percent to 30 percent) and in North America (from 39 percent to 41 percent) but down in Europe by 4 percentage points to 34 percent. - Chris Dupin