Malaysian carrier MISC Berhad posted a 76 percent drop in profit for its fourth fiscal quarter ended March 31. Hurt by the steep drop in container rates, the line forecast a weak market in the coming year.
MISC, a unit of state-run oil company Petronas, reported a profit for the January-March quarter of $51.79 million against $217.3 million a year ago.
For the full fiscal year, profit dropped 42 percent to $398 million.
"The global petroleum and container shipping rates are softening in line with weakening demand and oversupply of vessels," MISC, the world's largest owner of LNG carriers, said in a statement.
Overcapacity and declining container traffic have pushed liner rates down 64 percent year-to-date compared with last year's average. Rates are likely to stay depressed for the rest of the year.
"The slowdown in the global economy is expected to pose significant challenges to the shipping industry ... the group's results are expected to be under pressure," the company said.
Although not a large carrier on the major east-west trade lanes in its own right, MISC participates in some of them as a member of the Grand Alliance together with Hapag-Lloyd, NYK and OOCL.
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