Intermodal Weekly Market Report, Tuesday 10th January 2017, Week 1
Market insight By George Dermatis
A new year has dawned upon us and it sure promises to be an exciting one which makes it practically impossible to resist the challenge of making a forecast –especially when asked to do the first insight of the year. And given the range of variables ahead, let make it a bit harder; let’s take a closer look on the DRY sector which remains at the forefront of volatility and the inherent liquidity of assets creates paradoxical examples faster than we can justify why it happened.
Many were anticipating a sluggish start to the year due to a strong Q4, markets taking a step back as they digest Trump taking over on 20Jan17 and of course the “inevitable seasonal lullaby” caused by the upcoming Chinese New year -28th January. However, activity levels and appetite for new business thus far point to a different direction. Sentiment remains strongly positive and literature around a much healthier 2017 is already stacking up. Negative fleet growth, lower than expected actual orderbook, higher commodity prices, focus on higher infrastructure spending globally and increasing pressure on older tonnage through a tighter regulatory framework are becoming the flavor of the month and it’s becoming impossible to spot even ONE person that believes that 2017 will be similar –let alone worse- than 2016. Yes, sentiment plays a huge role but before talking about a self-fulfilling prophecy have we really sailed away from Scylla and Charybdis?
With Dow Jones, Nasdaq and other indices worldwide trading at historical highs, it is rather worrisome that Bankers observe such procrastination from investors towards new offerings as well as increasing criticism over the production potential of existing stocks. Most pundits believe that the commodity and energy post-election rally to be largely overvalued and we could soon see its flipside. Continuous delays on the Basel III implementation schedule seem to be short-term “wins” for the banking system but, truth be told, access to finance is not going to change until we see the new system being in place.