Fredriksen Bets on Spot Market and Chinese Ore Demand

Rob Almeida
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May 23, 2014

golden ocean groupA weak dry bulk spot market has provided John Fredriksen’s dry bulk shipping firm, Golden Ocean Group (GOGL) with a small, yet diminishing profit so far this year, with a loss predicted at the end of the second quarter.  The dry bulk scene is a far cry however to last year when Capesize rates averaged $5,650/day, or roughly one third of what they are now.

Looking ahead, only 5 percent annual dry bulk fleet growth is expected over the next two years while demand for global seaborne dry bulk shipping is expected to be at 6 percent during that period, mostly driven by increased demand by China of imported of iron ore, vice more expensive and inferior domestic ore.  Betting on stronger day rates, most of Fredriksen’s ships are currently exposed to the spot market.

The company notes:

The entire Capesize fleet is either employed on an index-linked time charter or performing spot voyages. The Panamaxes and Kamsarmaxes have on aggregate about 75 per cent open capacity through 2015. If the market recovers as expected in the second half of 2014 and into 2015 the Company intends to benefit from that and take down the spot exposure gradually.

Following the acquisition of one ice class Panamax in April the composition of the GOGL fleet is:

  • 8 Capesizes (of which 1 is owned in a joint venture)
  • 8 Kamsarmaxes
  • 10 ice class Panamaxes
  • 8 Supramax newbuilding (5 to be delivered first half 2015 and 3 first half 2016)
  • 1 Kamsarmax and 1 Panamax on long term bare boat with purchase options


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