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Shipping Markets: caution, discipline and dignity above all.

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John N. Faraclas

John N. Faraclas

The following are the main points – in brief – from the latest John Faraclas live interview to Panos Thomakos on SBC TV last Friday the 5th of March 2013:

1)Faraclas started with the weather as an important factor stressing the fascinating result of the favorable Gulf Stream for Ireland, Brittan and the Scandinavian countries with Thomakos adding that the cold weather is a major issue for this area in Europe whilst down in Greece the internal problems dominate/ignore even the weather conditions…

2)Following the Moundreas’ video Faraclas said that any optimistic view evaporates even from “his” end,   despite trying to… become optimistic, as reality bites and the markets, the BDI,   fell even more, a total of 61 points down to 861 from the pre-Easter weekend and this tells a lot for the immediate future…thanks to the Capes which gone up 6 points to 1215 and kept the market a bit… safer. The wets, the dirty wets got a plus 18 points reaching the 677 mark, whilst the cleans dropped to devil’s number 666, a very powerful number though… The volatility in combination with the overcapacity and the continuation of inconsiderate purchases of new tonnage (newbuildings or second hand ones) will lead to an unwanted situation. Thomakos butt in saying that precisely this is an issue as more Greeks continue to acquire tonnage, referring to the previous week interview with Harry Vafias – who expressed his concern, saying that this is dangerous, adding that the Chinese wish to create/increase their own fleet, the American s with the extreme  availability of liquidity given the Fed’s laxness with quantitive measures, channel funds to shipping, thus  creating of a very serious situation…. So what’s your view (Thomakos asked Faraclas) on the Greeks who continue to build or acquire tonnage?  Faraclas said that all is a matter of negotiation and in this buyers’ market things are strange… He reiterated that newbuilding prices are still high, despite the BDI levels – and the wet markets too. All the predictions on the markets have failed!

3)Faraclas continued on the positive side of shipping going on the offensive saying that it’s not the Greeks who have problems, but the Germans with German shipping being in its fifth year of shrinkage, given the fact that Germany and conversely its owners have also the advantage of cargoes, own cargoes whilst the Greeks do not, and still go under. He mentioned names and examples.

4)Thomakos mentioned Prof Korliras’ view that “…Greece has done always well with the maritime empires, empires with flexibility like the British, the American ones, to mention but a few, but with Germans, Russians and other non shipping empires did awfully bad, and this is also the reason of the inability to communicate today and reach an agreement in today’s situation of Greece with Germany”. The sea opens your mind, the land makes you “stubborn” and short sighted”

5)Faraclas agreed and reminded Thomakos and the audience that in his last interview from Camelot Castle Hotel in Titangel Cornwall, he referred to the 17 words that mean, according to the Greek etymology, the sea. This means that the Greeks are a pure shipping, seafaring  nation and have nothing to do with those from central/north Europe, as they have their shipping knowledge in their genes! People cannot understand how the Greek masters of the seven things think! I provoke all to re-analyse Plato’s Republic and see what happened; see what’s on and then they will/might possibly understand us! Eight pages in the famous passage of the argument between the Philosopher King and the King Philosopher are not there by chance….

5)Thomakos said that despite all these advantages the Greeks today continue with strikes in the coastal ships services, the merchant Marine Ministry’s new Law, the …. Faraclas butt in saying: Let’s forget all these without ostrichise and see the positive about our nation: Christopher Columbus passage and stay from Chios to employ seafarers, possibly the best in the then known world and find the New World. See what names the Bahamian Islands have; there are Greek names: Andros Island, Eleutherae island… How do you interpret all this?

Faraclas ended by mentioning the importance of the following:

  • The Basel III agreement will also bring problems.
  • The shrinkage of many shipping nations fleets and business.
  • The Water Balance Management is a matter of great concern. There are many disputed areas in this issue.
  • The Euro is an issue, but for the Greeks whether the Drachma or the Euro doesn’t make any difference whatsoever. The Greeks will always counter if “attacked” and will become a modern Lernaean Hydra, like the giant serpent of Lerna (Hercules’ myths), a reality though in real life… the more they are attacked the more will become in numbers and power vis-à-vis shipping and other matters….
  • The Shipyards must be saved as their problem re-surfaced again…
  • We must enter the Athens Stock Exchange to strengthen our economy, let’s not forget this! . We will always be the Masters of the Game.
  • The lists, such as Lagarde list and the rest are fabricated abroad for self-explanatory reasons to discredit the Greeks; you dead well know what I mean. You need two in a tango… they must see those who create all this mess, their own lists….
  • The Greek shipyards must be saved, as well as a solution to the Greek Coastal Services.

We look forward to our viewers comments. As usual there will be a translation into English.


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