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30 gennaio 2023 - Anno XXVII
Quotidiano indipendente di economia e politica dei trasporti
03:35 GMT+1
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FORUM dello Shipping
e della Logistica



The Chemical Carrier Market in 2002

 

The freight market
The fleet

This time last year we gave a fairly positive assessment as to the development of the chemical carrier market.

Our analysis highlighted the return of a better balance in the supply and demand of tonnage, a general improvement in the financial results of the main owners and European operators, as well as the limited drop in freight rates in the fourth quarter in contradiction to all other shipping sectors. We ended by questioning the extent of the world economic slowdown, which started in the spring of 2001 with the recession in the American economy, hoping for a recovery before the end of 2002.

One year later, we can observe that the stated facts remain largely unchanged with the exception of the world economic recovery, which has not taken place this year and which has been pushed back to at best the second half of 2003.

The balance between the tonnage supply and demand still applies as delivery of new carriers has been restricted in the course of the past year. At the same time, the orderbook for chemical carriers remains at a low level, despite a significant pick-up in orders in 2002, compared to 2001, which was particularly poor in this respect.
 

Freight rates

During 2001 freight rates increased overall by some 10 to 20 %, with the European and Transatlantic trade being at the lower end, and markets into Asia being at the upper end. In 2002 the market gave no sign of a trend one way or the other, and the players in the petrochemical sector went through the year with the uncertainties surrounding the eventual recovery in the world economy.

The North European market remained at healthy levels with freight rates improving by about 10 % at the beginning of the year. Then following a good volume of contractual nominations, freights fluctuated around previous levels up until the third quarter, to finally rise significantly at the end of the year thanks to a very sustained spot market.
The Mediterranean trade is still divided in two, based on the age of vessels and the approvals required by the main charterers. Consequently there is a two-tiered market, which basically stayed steady over the whole year.

On the other zones of trade, from the Mediterranean to North Europe and back, rates had mixed fortunes. For North Europe the supply of carriers is becoming progressively reduced, following a fear by certain owners of tighter controls and multiple inspections by authorities in the main ports. Consequently on this traffic, charterers faced a shortage of supply and variations in freight rates from 10 to 20 % within two to three months, with peaks in the spring and the end of the year, whereas the rest of 2002 was relatively stable.

Spot Mediterranean bound movements remained at slightly lower levels with the main volume of business being covered under term contracts.
Renewal of contracts for 2003 were mostly made at unchanged levels to 2002 or else very similar, with some obtaining a modest increase of about 5 %.

It is necessary to adjust these rates on European movements as owners pay today for their bunkers at much higher prices and some are suffering from the dollar devaluation against the euro as numerous freight contracts are based in dollars.

On the U.S. / Europe traffic, the market suddenly took off at the beginning of March, to peak in April. Significant movements of styrene and cumene were fixed by producers and traders following some technical shutdowns in Europe. As a result rates for lots of 2,000 tons went from $ 35 to $ 45 per ton. Thereafter freights experienced a steady drop with rates finding levels as at the end of 2001.

On westbound Atlantic trade, the market firmed up as from the beginning of the second quarter, then experienced a peak during the summer with a falling off down to $ 40 per ton for 2,000 ton lots, to finally finish the year with a 15 % increase. The main spot movements out of Europe were with cargoes of methanol, MTBE and sulphuric acid.

Movements from Europe to Asia were largely term contracts, with steady volumes in the hands of the four main chemical owners. Spot freight rates for 1,000 tons of chemical products remained at about $60 per from the Rotterdam area to main Asian ports, with the same for 2,000 ton lots, which increased in the summer and improved progressively to $ 50 to $ 60 per ton.

On a general view point, due to the large number of term nominations and a well-sustained spot market for special grades, the level of ships' employment was good and freight rates were stable throughout the year.
 


 

The fleet

Chemical carrier owners are probably today in a better situation than a few years ago. The number of ships available is more or less in line with demand and only a deterioration of the world economy is likely to disturb this balance.

In an attempt to modernise and increase their fleet at minimum risk, some owners have started in the course of the year 2002 to place orders backed by time charters for a minimum of 5 to 7 years with purchase options of the new tonnage to be built in Japan. Stolt, Jo Tankers, TMM, Tokyo Marine and Iino Kaiun have signed a number of contracts with deliveries in 2003 to 2005.

This is a new approach by Western owners, which have been in the habit of placing orders with European shipyards. These vessels are less sophisticated with fewer tanks and segregations, but built to more attractive financial conditions. More owners and operators could be interested in the future.

Since the beginning of the year 24 ships totalling 0.4 million dwt have entered into service. The number of purely chemical carriers (with stainless steel tanks) on order at the end of 2002 was 71 of which 21 were below 10,000 dwt and 50 above this size, for respectively 0.15 million and 1.25 million dwt. This figure is considerably higher than the total at the end of 2001, which was 44 ships totalling 0.97 dwt, but is below the number of ships on order before the Asian crisis of 1998 with 107 ships and a total of 1.69 million dwt of which 42 were under 10,000 dwt and 65 above as at end 1997.

Scrapping of chemical carriers was stable in 2002 with a new parameter however, namely an additional number of large sizes being withdrawn. Last year there was a total of 8 ships for slightly more than 59,000 dwt, whereas this year there were 9 ships for a total of 150,000 dwt (of which 4 ships over 20,000 dwt).

This trend towards scrapping chemical carriers has been considerably reinforced by charterers insisting on double-hulls, but also to the arrival of the various generations of big chemical carriers built in the mid 70's and whose characteristics no longer correspond to today's needs and criteria.
  


 

Even more than in previous years, the absence of any firm trend in the development of the market has meant that owners have decided to reduce their costs to a maximum in order to preserve their margins. Owners are seeking to optimise costs, by reducing crews and through partnerships on certain routes. For example Stolt and Jo Tankers have reached an agreement for a better co-ordination of operations on port calls for their vessels leaving the Gulf of Mexico to Asia, whilst preserving their commercial independence.

With the same objective of fleet optimisation, the market is awaiting the decision of the European Commission on the creation of a commercial pool between Vopak-Essberger and Stolt Nielsen Inter Europe Services requested by the two owners now for more than a year.

In this uncertain climate owners are seeking to consolidate their positions, whilst trying to obtain improvements in productivity. The decreasing number of small carriers on order and the concentration of big chemical carriers in the hands of fewer and fewer operators, are some of the direct consequences of the sluggish market we have had for the last three years.

If this new situation looks like lasting longer, attempts at mergers and buy-outs and the creation of pools, could in the future be multiplied, thus limiting the diversity and competitiveness of the chemical carrier market.
 



Shipping and Shipbuilding Markets in 2002

I N D E X

›››Archivio
DALLA PRIMA PAGINA
Il gruppo logistico francese STEF ha chiuso il 2022 con un fatturato annuale record
Parigi
Il gruppo logistico francese STEF ha chiuso il 2022 con un fatturato annuale record
In Italia - ha reso noto l'azienda - l'attività è stata particolarmente interessata dal calo del consumo alimentare
Gara del governo indiano per la realizzazione di un grande porto container di transhipment nell'Oceano Indiano
New Delhi
Gara del governo indiano per la realizzazione di un grande porto container di transhipment nell'Oceano Indiano
Avrà una capacità di 16 milioni di teu. Previsto un investimento di cinque miliardi di dollari
A causa della guerra in Ucraina il Registro navale cipriota ha perso 3,7 milioni di tsl
Nel 2022 il porto di Marsiglia Fos ha movimentato 77 milioni di tonnellate di merci (+3%)
Marsiglia
Record dei container. Il traffico complessivo dei passeggeri è tornato ai livelli pre-pandemia
Il porto di New York ha stabilito un nuovo record storico di traffico annuale dei container
New York
Flessione dell'attività nel quarto trimestre del 2022
Le proposte di Conftrasporto per il settore dei trasporti e della logistica
Roma
Salvini: ho chiesto al commissario europeo dei Trasporti l'avvio della procedura d'infrazione nei confronti dell'Austria
Hapag-Lloyd acquisirà il 35% dell'indiana J M Baxi Ports & Logistics
Hapag-Lloyd acquisirà il 35% dell'indiana J M Baxi Ports & Logistics
Amburgo
Accordo per elevare la quota al 40% con un aumento di capitale
Hapag-Lloyd ha effettuato un altro investimento nel settore dei terminal portuali, settore in cui la compagnia di navigazione containerizzata tedesca è recentemente entrata prepotentemente...
Stabile nel 2022 il traffico delle merci movimentato dai porti della Sardegna
Cagliari
Prosegue la ripresa nel settore dei passeggeri
MSC e Maersk decidono di sciogliere l'alleanza 2M con effetto a gennaio 2025
MSC e Maersk decidono di sciogliere l'alleanza 2M con effetto a gennaio 2025
Ginevra, Copenhagen
È stata attivata nel 2015
Soddisfazione di Confitarma per l'ok della commissione parlamentare UE alle disposizioni sul credito navale
Roma
Da molti anni - sottolinea la Confederazione - ci battiamo affinché, a fini regolamentari bancari, il credito navale venga gradualmente assimilato a quello infrastrutturale
Investire nella Blue Economy per creare posti di lavoro, aumentare i livelli di reddito e ridurre le emissioni
Losanna
Lo suggerisce uno studio scientifico pubblicato su “Frontiers in Marine Science”
Inaugurata ad Arenzano la nuova Scuola di Alta Formazione per Medici di Bordo
Arenzano
Messina (Assarmatori): è una risposta concreta alla necessità reale e impellente di garantire la salute e la sicurezza di chi naviga
PROSSIME PARTENZE
Visual Sailing List
Porto di partenza
Porto di destinazione:
- per ordine alfabetico
- per nazione
- per zona geografica
Lo scorso anno il traffico delle merci nei porti sudcoreani è diminuito del -2,3%
Seul
I container sono stati pari a 28,8 milioni di teu (-4,1%)
Iniziativa per attivare a Livorno un percorso ITS dedicato alla logistica e ai trasporti
Livorno
A Noghere un nuovo polo produttivo integrato al porto di Trieste
Trieste
L'Autorità di Sistema Portuale del Mare Adriatico Orientale ha acquistato un'area di 350.000 metri quadri
Lunedì a Rapallo si terrà la prima edizione di “Shipping, Transport&Intermodal Forum”
Genova
Verranno analizzate la situazione attuale e le prospettive del comparto marittimo e logistico
A Livorno una tre giorni di Assoporti per approfondire gli aspetti della trasformazione urbana nella città portuali
Livorno
Si incontreranno due dei gruppi tecnici dell'associazione: quello specializzato sul tema dei rapporti porto-città e quello degli urbanisti
Corsica Sardinia Ferries partecipa al progetto di Neoline per realizzare una nave ro-ro a vela
Corsica Sardinia Ferries partecipa al progetto di Neoline per realizzare una nave ro-ro a vela
Vado Ligure
Sarà impiegata su una rotta transatlantica
Giovedì a Milano un convegno di Fedespedi su “La digitalizzazione logistica e il PNRR”
Milano
Fin dal 2020 la Federazione dà il proprio contributo alla costruzione del Piano
RINA ha comprato l'americana Patrick Engineering
Genova
È un'azienda di consulenza ingegneristica attiva principalmente nei settori infrastrutture, trasporti ed energie rinnovabili
Lo scorso anno il traffico delle merci nel porto di Ancona è diminuito del -2,3%
Ancona
Ripresa dei passeggeri
La nave inclinatasi nel porto di Genova è stata sottoposta a fermo amministrativo
Genova
Accertate oltre 20 deficienze di cui alcune particolarmente gravi
Saipem si è aggiudicata due contratti offshore per un importo di 900 milioni di dollari
Milano
Attività nell'Atlantico Meridionale e nel Mare di Norvegia
Cambiaso Risso compra la tedesca Trident Special Risks
Genova
Nel 2022 l'azienda genovese ha raggiunto un volume premi di 440 milioni di dollari e ricavi netti per 57 milioni di dollari
PORTI
Porti italiani:
Ancona Genova Ravenna
Augusta Gioia Tauro Salerno
Bari La Spezia Savona
Brindisi Livorno Taranto
Cagliari Napoli Trapani
Carrara Palermo Trieste
Civitavecchia Piombino Venezia
Interporti italiani: elenco Porti del mondo: mappa
BANCA DATI
ArmatoriRiparatori e costruttori navali
SpedizionieriProvveditori e appaltatori navali
Agenzie marittimeAutotrasportatori
MEETINGS
A Livorno una tre giorni di Assoporti per approfondire gli aspetti della trasformazione urbana nella città portuali
Livorno
Si incontreranno due gruppi tecnici...
Giovedì a Milano un convegno di Fedespedi su “La digitalizzazione logistica e il PNRR”
Milano
Fin dal 2020 la Federazione dà il proprio contributo alla costruzione del Piano
››› Archivio
RASSEGNA STAMPA
3rd oil tanker body found, 5 workers still missing
(Bangkok Post)
TAS Offshore in talks to build 27 tugboats
(The Star Online)
››› Archivio
FORUM dello Shipping
e della Logistica
Relazione del presidente Daniele Rossi
Napoli, 30 settembre 2020
››› Archivio
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Registrazione Stampa 33/96 Tribunale di Genova
Direttore responsabile Bruno Bellio
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