Market stagnation amid perplexed Geopolitics…
The BDI (Baltic Dry Index) remained unchanged since yesterday; the Geopolitical situation, as we have foreseen, will turn Planet Ocean upside down. At the GSCC’s annual Vasilopita, its chairman Harry J. Fafalios spells it out on IMO2020 and other issues. John Faraclas’ brief recap:
The Capes lost nearly 100 points and the BCI’s 800 points threshold has been lost – it now reads 784.
Thank Posidon the Panamaxes’ BPI was up reducing the general losses – now at 859, plus 34…
No change for the Supras’ BSI..
Minus five for the Handies’ BHSI now at 383; CAUTION!
The Wets’ free fall continues but still the tankers make huge profits; don’t complain!!!! The last published BDTI (Dirties) and BCTI (Cleans) stood at 1,305 and 720 – minus 35 and 32 points respectively.
The WTI was up 81 cents and now reads US$ 58.62… Let’s hope it remains low; we need per mare per terra to see same at US$49.99, so 7.7 billion people can have a better life!!!!! We can!!!
The Geopolitics for which a full report will come up tomorrow, continue to be perplexed in all fronts:
MIGRANTS, the Planet Ocean’s Pandemic!! Let’s see how this issue will be tackled. In Greece the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum has been re-instated with Chiot MP Noti Mitarachi as the respective Minister. As compatriots we wish him all the very best and we will stand by him in his new post, but he must prove his credentials here and now!!! We have numerous times on canvas and live on TV expressed our dismay for all who on purpose destroy the social cohesion, not only of the Greek Aegean Islands and Greece, but of the entire Europe…
The faulty line from Gib to Afghanistan and from the Caucuses to the Horn of Africa with the Balkans, Central and East Med as well as the entire Middle East issue, if not contained and resolved, will produce tsunamis that even the best oceanologists haven’t seen in their wildest dreams. Syria and Libya with the Turkish despicable provocations and blackmail will soon make it worse. The Berlin meeting without Greece’s presence is worse than a farce…
BREXIT still needs a lot to be done by both the UK and the EU!!!
At the other side of Atlantic, both north and south, things are prety messy and uncertain; in the North the embattled USA’s president has to use all his skills to avoid impeachment and come clean for which the Democrats believe they have a case he must answer…
On another tone and note we were present at the Annual Vasilopita event of the GSCC (Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee) which took place earlier on tonight at the Baltic Exchange – the temple of British and International shipping. Over 200 guests were there and together with the members of the Committee celebrated the New Year, 2020, a year which looks like everybody WILL remember for ever.
Archimandrite Theonas from the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sophia officiated given that his Eminence Archbishop Nikitas accompanied His Excellency the Greek president Prokopis Pavlopoulos in Ireland during his official visit there.
Three lucky punters won respective sovereigns; Andreas A. Tsavliris – he has won it before, oh lucky man, Lambros Hilas and Stratos Krimizeas.
Present was the United Kingdom’s Minister for Shipping Ms Nusrat Ghani – she managed to make it from her morning visit up in the Port of Blyth, and she delivered and excellent speech enhancing British – Greek shipping relations. The Greek Ambassador Dimitris Karamitsos Tziras was also pesent. A strong team from Maritime London was present too headed by its chairman Lord Mountevans; vice chairman Harry Theocharis was there too with his wife, as well as Jos Standerwick CEO from Maritime London. The Baltic’s Chairman and CEO Dennis Petropoulos and Mark Jackson were present as well as members of the Baltic Exchange Secretariat.
The biggest group was that of the HESGB (Hellenic Engineers Society of Great Britain) headed by its president Dimitris N. Monioudis – as always a very strong presence.
Lloyd’s Register made its presence felt with members from its London HQ and Greece being present given yesterday’s Vasilopita event at their 71 Fenchurch Street magnificent building…
All Class Societies – BV and DNV GL as always were present…
Lawyers too with Costas Frangeskides of HFW leading the 12 or so shipping specialist lawyers…
Herebelow follows the excellent, brief and to the point speech by Harry J. Fafalios:
Your Excellencies, Minister, Secretary General, Ladies and Gentlemen,
As is our custom we welcome you to the cutting our Vassilopitta with which we bring in the New Year. We welcome today Archimandrite Theonas of Saint Sophia Cathedral and thank you for conducting the blessing.
2020 has begun with some confusion due to the less than perfect way that the I.M.O. low sulphur rules have been put into practice.
Supply problems, quality problems, pricing problems are reigning worldwide as global shipping companies are doing their best to cope with, yet another imperfectly thought out piece of legislation. Non-compliant fuels still remain on board vessels through the decisions of charterers which will be difficult to remove by the deadline of 1st March. I.M.O. cannot solely regulate ship operators directly without taking into account the pivotal role of charterers, oil refiners and bunker suppliers. Clearly this is imperfect regulation!
We hope that going forward towards 2030 and then 2050 there will be a closer dialogue between regulators and industry in coming to a workable solution vis-à-vis reducing greenhouse gases.
Whilst the events in the Middle East could bring about great dislocation in trade and global security it seems that so far the necessity to keep the region moving has stopped this area becoming a major war zone yet.
In the West, an upcoming U.S. election will create uncertainty as both political parties do their best to discredit each other’s candidates.
In the U.K. the result of the National Elections have put the BREXIT policy on a more secure footing and it is hoped that the moderate European nations will help bring about a realistic trade agreement.
Whilst the U.S. trade wars are still raging, we still see a large amount of cargo moving and a hope that a greater normalization of commerce will occur.
Fortunately, many of the shipping markets have prospered in the last few months. Tankers, Containers and L.N.G. have seen better days whilst Drybulk has been decidedly unexciting.
Unfortunately, the order books are still larger than the world fleets will need in the long term, thus putting off a long-term freight recovery.
Regardless of this uncertainty Greek Companies are continuing to renew and update their fleet at a fair pace in order to continue to remain the world’s most prominent and energy efficient tonnage providers. Greek Owners are also closely looking at alternative fuels, such as L.N.G., in order to be at the forefront of the environmental debate.
In the quest to find solutions to our longer-term propulsion issues it has been suggested that a fund is created in order to spur on more research and development.
One has to be very careful to ensure that such a fund will channel its resources in the right direction and not become a bottomless pit of misused financial resources.
Most of all it is the responsibility of shipbuilders and marine propulsion manufacturers to look for the appropriate future powerplants that our industry will need.
We are so proud to say that being based in London we are close to all the major national and international maritime organizations and we are in close contact and consultation with most of them.
We are also fortunate to be close to the Baltic Exchange with whom our members have over a century and half of membership in some cases.
In Greece we will continue to remind the Government to invest more in merchant marine education academies and if they cannot do so at least permit private sector schools to help fill the gap.
We must also stress the need to have more effective governmental representation on a national level at the I.M.O. and the E.U. and that such individuals should have a longer stay in these posts.
Finally, we would like to stress how important the Hellenic Coast Guard is and its contribution to Greek Shipping at home and around the world.
My speech would be incomplete if I did not mention the most valuable element of our industry, our people. It is the crews of the ships and the shore staff that make Greek Shipping special, unique and world beating.
Finally, I would personally like to thank all my G.S.C.C. colleagues for their dedication and hard work and in particular to thank Kostas Amarantidis and Maria Syllingnaki for running this organization so smoothly.
Indeed many congratulations to Radm (HCG) Kostas Amarantidis, the Director of the GSCC and Maria Syllingnaki its secrteary.
Will revert before midnight with pictures; until then remain on guard for actions emanating from Pirates, Terrorists, Criminals and Business Hooligans whatsoever wherever you are on Planet Ocean.