Shipping confidence held steady in the three months to end-May 2018, according to Moore Stephens' latest Shipping Confidence Survey.
The average confidence level was unchanged at the four-year high of 6.4 out of 10.0 recorded in February 2018. Confidence on the part of owners was also sustained at a four-year high, of 6.6, while managers’ confidence was up from 6.4 to 6.7.
The rating for charterers was up to 6.7 from 5.0 and confidence in the broking sector was up from 6.1 to 6.3. The survey was launched in May 2008 with an overall rating for all respondents of 6.8.
Moore Stephens said that the likelihood of respondents making a major investment or significant development over the next 12 months was down on the previous survey from 5.5 to 5.2 out of a maximum possible score of 10.0.
Confidence was highest among charterers, followed by owners (down from 5.9 to 5.5), managers (down from 5.6 to 5.4) and brokers (down from 4.0 to 3.5).
The number of respondents expecting higher freight rates in both the tanker and container ship sectors was up, from 39% to 50% and from 38% to 43% respectively. In the dry bulk trades, such expectations were unchanged at 54%.
“We first launched the survey in 2008 just months before the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy which was to trigger a protracted global financial recession. Shipping markets were buoyant at the time, with an average confidence level of 6.8 out 10.0.”
“Ten years is a long time in shipping, and the past decade has doubtless felt a lot longer still to those industry participants who have lived through it, even those inured to the peculiar cyclicality of the industry. Confidence may have fluctuated, but it has never collapsed, and portents for the coming decade can reasonably be expected to be better,” Moore Stephens concluded.