MIND THE GAP!
Maritime stocks took a breather this week. The Dow Jones Global Shipping Index lost 3.2% week-on-week, driven by weak tanker and bulker stocks.
Dry bulk vessels currently suffer from both a sustained drop in freight rates and a hike in bunker prices due to IMO 2020. Consequently, time charter equivalents are dropping and we believe that markets may stay low for some more weeks, at least until after Chinese New Year. From a seasonal point of view, dry bulk freight rates normally reach their lows at the turn of Q1 and Q2. So there might be a good chance that the trough will be reached in the coming weeks.
Following the geopolitical relief in the Middle East, gold and oil prices, as well as tanker TC rates, have decreased considerably which led tanker- and some offshore-supply stocks to correct sharply. Still, charter rates for crude carriers have remained robust in a historical context and we believe that the correction in their stock market prices will soon come to an end.
Consequently, we lowered the market exposure in our trading strategy to 24% and realized some further gains in VLGC owners. We also bought a few selective put options on "non-scrubber" companies and offshore supply owners. From a strategic point of view, we like to 'keep the powder dry' for the right opportune moment to re-invest, again.