Home MarketsChartering The BDI@1,457: a contained fall amid Geopolitical chaos… or what?

John Faraclas

The BDI (Baltic Dry Index) fell 13 points losing the 1,500-point base of last week when it stood at 1,519 points – down 62! Geopolitics are not only perplexed they are dubious and the outcome on many global issues remains totally uncertain and this in turn will affect shipping – in one way or another. Too many skeletons in the cupboard…  John Faraclas’ daily and weekly recaps:

The Capes’ BCI was down at 2,502 – minus 28 and on a weekly basis down 24 – from 2,526. Wonder what the specialists, analysts and gurus say… Let’s hope it doesn’t loses the 2,500 base points…

The Panamaxes were up four points with the BPI standing at 1,530, but on a weekly basis the fall registered was… “substantial”, 53 points – from 1,583!!!!

Ten points down for the Supras’ BSI now at 1,051, but the 66 points fall was an opssss on the weekly count – 1,117 last Friday the 26th of October…

The Handies too registered minor losses both on a daily as well as on a weekly basis. The BHSI lost two points and now reads 666 – what a figure… and on a weekly basis same was minus nine, the only size with a single digit loss from last week’s closing! All in red, hence our “Red sky at Night …err Red Markets in October… keeps you wonder!” on the 31st of October was a “warning”… not for the shepherds but for the shippers…

The Wets with mixed feelings today but on an upwards overall level from last week; the last published BDTI (Dirties) and BCTI (Cleans) stood at 1,152 – minus five and 574 – plus five points respectively. On a weekly basis the Dirties gained 31 points – from 1,121 of last week’s closing and the Cleans three – from 571 respectively.

The WTI stood at US$ 63.10 with a small tendency in ending a fraction higher; that’s good news given that last week it stood at US$67.59. Nearly US$4.50 down… Excellent… Let’s see what comes next with Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iran and a few other players… Expect soon an upheaval in the oil front!

As said in the preamble, Geopolitics with its perplexed, odd and asymmetrical behaviour will keep us very busy in the coming days, months and many many many years to come. Add the “interest” of the regulators who have grasped the environment as an excuse – as in reality they do nothing lasting and projected to really save the environment. We need here and now pragmatic and feasible solutions for the 2020 and beyond; we need leaders with substance and not the managerial under the stairs lot… When we say leaders we mean real statesman-breed people to perform here and now; end of the story. Stay tuned with us as next week in Copenhagen IBIA stages two intense days on the issue.

The Migrants threaten, as we recently mentioned, to break completely the social cohesion, to create primarily a mess for all particularly in Europe and secondary in the USA… Events there as well as in Latin America are alarming! Our position and that of pragmatism and logic remains the same: Naval and Land blockades with a clear Mandate and Rules of Engagement! All the rest are petty party politics from the moron who rule us – unfortunately. We provoke all to find out if they have the means to see how many first class Terrorists are among the MIGRANTS crossing over from North Africa, the Anatolian Coast and the Evros River border. I guess  we had enough! There isn’t even the slightest human behaviour and sensitivity from the political spectrum for the thousand of deaths, particularly from drowning; the other day I was looking at the book the “Sea Prayer” by Khaled Hosseini and re-reading the touching point of what inspired the author: the three year old Syrian refugee who drowned in the Med whilst tying to reach Europe back in September 2015, three years ago… After Alan Kurdi’s death,  4,176 others died or were drown or went missing –   a figure that now is almost 6,500 according to estimates we obtained… There isn’t even the slightest dignity from the part of all politicians involved, local and Europeans,  for all those people who lose their lives one way or another, as well as  the islanders in Greece’s eastern Aegean Islands having to cope with a catastrophe of incalculable  proportions  and repercussions – not the one you see on TV screens, but beyond that. We provoke anybody and can pay a visit completely undetected to saw you our findings, not just those you read in the media about the despicable behaviour of the MIGRANTS but also the way they are,  unfortunately treated and  “housed” worse from being sardines… Shame! Same issue applies to mainland Greece, some Italian small islands but mainly to mainland Italy – with the known reaction of the current Italian Government… Malta too has issues as well as Spain – Melilla being another terrible saga for all… The entire Mighty Continent …err Europe faces a “pandemic” with  non-reactions by many political leaders that we  have never ever  witnessed before; that tells it all… Migrants from the Middle East war-torn countries,  as we have said in previous reports, should remain in the region’s countries with the same religion, culture and ethics; any other excuse  hides premeditated behaviour; time will tell but then who will punish the politicians and their cronies…

The way some politicians and EU citizens including many NGOs wish to tackle the Migrants issue, gives rise to extreme Populism and Nationalism; CAUTION!

In the USA too president Trump has to swiftly deal with the caravan coming from Honduras heading to the USA. Caution… Add the Migrants from Venezuela crossing over to Colombia and Brazil and see what you get.

The unending Wars in Syria and Iraq, the Saudi peninsular troubles as well as those issues following the Khashoggi saga, the Iranian sanctions, the Palestinian struggle might produce a general conflagration covering the entire region and affecting all the faulty line from Gibraltar to Afghanistan and from the Caucuses to the Horn of Africa !

Russia’s president Putin continues his agenda on all fronts! Watch this space of new Russia’s hegemony aspirations!

Greece is entering one of its most crucial periods ever since it become a nation in 1830 following its revolt against the Ottoman yoke in 1821… Too many internal ideological issues which do not have a leg to stand… We expect all current 300 MPs and MEP’s to become serious and act according to the circumstances avoiding petty party politics and silly / moron behaviour. See where Greece stands right now. Thinking to retain your seat in Parliament is one thing, saving your country yet another! On the external affairs the Turkish behaviour, which escalates day by day, must be halted as the culprits in Brussels and in Berlin use a double language.  The Balkans are an issue bothering the Greek people and the politicians should be straight on this issue… Shame! There will be a day of reckoning and Greece is right to demand reparations from Germany as Poland also demands same. We continue to reiterate the view that Greece needs an Aristos team to run the county for ten years, change its electoral system and follow the British one – one candidate per party per constituency!

Cyprus also lives difficult days with Turkey continuing an unprecedented bullying policy… Caution… Cyprus is a legitimate nation, a EU state and has all the rights for oil and gas exploration in its EEZ, which is also the European Union’s EEZ; end of the story… Expect tensions though…

On Turkey we referred numerous times that its not a trusted member of the North Atlantic Alliance – NATO. Its latest statement via its president that Turkey will not recognise the Crimean annexation and from the other  hand buys weaponry from Russia, thus blackmailing the West, shouldn’t go unnoticed… Reprimand the Turks president Trump!!! What’s your position Mrs. Merkel?  Let’s see what president Trump will do on this issue…

BREXIT continues to trigger the interest of all all over Planet Ocean as, whatever the result, same will affect all 7.5 billion people on Planet Ocean… In the absence of exit rules and regulations, negotiators from across both sides of the Channel must come down to their senses before they bring us all down to our knees as their stubbornness is monumental as well as those behind them! Another stumbling block remains the Irish border and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stressed that this “undermines” the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) signed twenty years ago (1998)… Difficult days ahead and Mrs May will need to employ and unleash everything in her negotiating quiver… A good thing that appears to make most of the public happy is the Stop-and-Search which needs though more than words to work. It was about time! Police needs more funding and rightly so! It is good pouring money for the NHS but safety and security is paramount in the streets, ports, air terminals, shops and public places, everywhere!

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is losing grip and some elections results speak for themselves… Caution as Germany is also financially in a mess despite Mrs. Merkel holding the sceptre of the de facto ruler of Europe, the world’s most powerful block. She must sort out her country’s debts which have accumulated to US$ 2,2 trillion and then demand from weak nations such as Greece, or Cyprus to streamline its finances strangulating its people… No Mrs. Merkel; try to see the thousands of skeletons in Germany’s cupboard…

Italy on the verge of something extraordinary in Economics and Finance; the Italians won’t bow down to Brussels’ demands. At best they might sort of compromise on some minor issues, but an Italian Budget is an Italian affair all together; end of the story…  Meantime Italy’s colossal debt of nearly US$ 2,5 trillion must one way or another be sorted out or written off; possibly a big trench of it. As you read these lines Italy is battered by an unusual heavy weather with flooding, landslides, ports are in a mess – Porto Rapallo, which we covered last year and the adjacent Portofino are cut off… Terrible mess even up in the Dolomites near Südtirol …  Streets even in Rome become rivers, underground stations closed… Insurers are having their day… A week-long of bad weather will cost dearly to all… Until now twenty people are confirmed dead mostly by falling trees.

At the other side of the Atlantic, let’s see how the mid-term elections evolve in the USA and what’s president Trump’s next steps. Will he keep it up?

China will soon produce issues in the entire Far East demanding control of various islands and there might be a mess with other nations in the region. China might compromise with the USA given the Tariffs etc etc…

In Africa now; SAA (South Africa Airways) is in deep trouble and throwing good money after bad is not wise. A shut down is NOT the solution. Rebirth and let the airline away from political interference… We have seen this in many countries, including G7 ones… Meantime, something must be done as Cape Town’s trains are burned… Is this the work of arsonists, malfunction or political rivalry..?

In Ethiopia, arms smuggling takes incalculable proportions and the belief is that people will use it to resolve regional border disputes. On the …shipping news side, we learned that last week an oil tanker was found near the Sudanese border with hundreds of guns been hidden.

And what a tour that was in Oceania by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex! Lifting the spirits and bringing people together! Excellent. Good to see such a welcome and warmth by all!

l to r: Dr. Myria Galazi receiving this year’s Papanikolaou Prize from last year’s winner Dr. Foteini Kalofonou. At the podium the president of the HMS Dr. Miltiadis Krokidis

On another tone and note we participated in the annual Papanikolaou Prize 2018 at the Friends Room of London’s Hellenic Centre – now an established event,  organised by the Hellenic Medical Society in the United Kingdom. The late George Papanikolaou (13 May 1883 – 19 February 1962) from whom the famous and women’s Pap Test bears its name, amongst other things in his very much intriguing scientific career, he worked in Monaco’s Oceanographic Institute participating in the Oceanographic Exploration Team of the Prince of Monaco! Eh!!

Excellent slide-presentations by all four finalists as well as from the winner of the Student Scholarship Prize Dimitrios Karponis; a BSc (Hons) holder and a 5th year medical Student at the  Imperial College, London School of Medicine (ICSM) and Institute of Biomaterials and Bioengineering, Tokyo, Japan.

Dimitrios Karponis during his presentation

His slides presentation was on the “Evaluation of a pneumatic surgical robot with dynamic force feedback” Excellent!

Then Dr. Myria Galazi took the podium; Ms Galazi a  medical Oncology Trainee  at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital presented us a very much interesting paper on “PI3K-AKT-mTOR targeting in metastatic prostate cancer”; you don’t need to be told the number of deaths and other problems of prostate cancer which in the UK is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in men.  Also  the commonest cancer in men in the USA + UK! Prostate cancer goes, unfortunately beyond the frontiers of all nations… PPP’s (Precaution Prevention and Prognosis) a must.

Dr. Yunan Gao

Yunan Gao was the next speaker presented us a paper on “Functional improvements following AAV gene replacement therapy in models of CDKL5 disorder”.

Ms Yunan is getting the best out of gene Therapy at the Centre of Neuroinflammation and Neurodegenaration in the Division of Brain Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London and we have to congratulate he that she made for non-medical attendees like myself to understand the issue!

Dr. George Vassiliou

Next came Dr. George Vassiliou, reader in Haematological Malignancies at the University  of Cambridge and Senior Fellow of Cancer Research UK. His presentation referred to the “Prediction of acute myeloid leukaemia risk in healthy individuals”; what a subject!

The last speaker was the towering Dr. Georgios Sotiropoulos, Barts Thorax Centre, London, UK and National Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece who meticulously covered the “Chemerin as a novel biomarker in resectable lung cancer”.

Dr. George Sotiropoulos

Lung cancer which unfortunately with stomach cancer are the two most common causes many seafarers face… The Greek Navy too must be also be very proud of this presentation as well as of Dr. Sotiropoulos progress which will become very valuable for Greece’s Armed forces. His wife also was present; Dr. Maria Angeliki Gkini, also a Greek Army Medical officer, an MD, MSc, PhD, Specialist Registrar in Dermatology at Barts Health NHS Trust was amongst the contestants; her theme was “Are dermatologists at risk of Major complaints and being stalked?”  Hope she can deliver a speech to WISTAs; we will see to it!

The other contestants were:

  1. Epaminondas Markos Valsamis, MB BChir, MA (Cantab), MCS, PGCert Med Ed, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. His theme was “Predictors of mortality in elderly patients with fractures of the odontoid process: can we use established hip fracture scoring systems”
  2. Maria Pantelidou, Academic Clinical Fellow and Specialist Registrar at the Department of Radiology, Cambridge University Hospitals. Her paper was on “Robotic-assisted partial nephrectomy versus percutaneous radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of small renal cell carcinoma” !
  3. Constantinos C. Fragkos, Clinical Fellow in Gastroenterology, GI Services, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London with “Home Parenteral Nutrition in Advanced Cancer”; a good heavy weight theme and a very controversial issue…
  4. Savvas Vlachos, The Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Guys and St. Thomas Hospital, London; “The Utility of ICU Readmission as a Quality Indicator and the Effect of Selection” was indeed an interesting candidate given the briefing we read, excellent! and
  5. Andreas Panagiotopoulos, Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science, UCL and Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, London with “Damage Patterns at the Head-Stem Taper Junction helps understand the Mechanisms of material loss”.

After a ten minutes meeting of the judges we had the winner: Dr. Myria Galazi! She received the Papanikolaou Prize from last year’s winner Dr. Foteini Kalofonou, a PhD researcher – Androgen Signalling & Prostate Cancer Group at Imperial College London.

A view of the audience

All in all a great evening with another towering doctor, the president of the HMS in the United Kingdom Miltiadis Krokidis on a great day with multi-tasks to deliver – and he successfully did so.  Good to see Dr. Spyros Retsas MD FRCP, Consultant Medical Oncologist (Retired), a friend from the past and contributor with three unique articles in this site and the ever present in almost all Diaspora events, the Treasurer of the Society Dr. Kiki Sonidou and a couple of others. Small world too given the discussion I had with a few doctors there. Excellent wine as always with cold Greek dips!

Coming up this Monday, the World Travel Market in London’s ExCel at the banks of Father Thames! Be there and be part in enhancing Tourism and in particular Maritime Tourism the biggest Tourist sector of all other put together to all intents and purposes: Cruises – everywhere, Coastal services, Yachting, Marinas, Sea sports, island hopping you name it!

Have a nice weekend and enjoy the fireworks but  remain on guard from actions emanating from Pirates, Terrorists and any Criminals whatsoever wherever you are on Planet Ocean!

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