From March to May, overall confidence levels in the shipping industry increased to their highest level in 2 1/2 years, according to Moore Stephen’s latest Shipping Confidence Survey.
“For the third successive quarter, we have seen a small increase in confidence,” said Richard Greiner, Moore Stephens’ shipping partner, in a written statement. “This encourages the belief that we are witnessing the start of a sustainable recovery, although some difficult issues remain to be resolved.”
The average confidence level express by respondents in the market in which they operate was 5.9 on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), compared with the figure of 5.8 recorded in the previous survey in February, making it the highest figure since the 6.0 recorded in November 2010. The confidence rating for owners was basically flat at 5.7, while brokers’ confidence level rose from 5.6 to 5.9. However, managers and charterers’ confidence level was down to 6.0 and 5.5 respectively, from 6.2 and 6.0 in February.
Geographically, confidence in Asia was up from 5.6 to 5.8 in the past three months ending in May. Confidence in Europe was unchanged at 5.8, but slid in North America from 6.1 to 6.0.
The survey also showed increased enthusiasm for new investment, although doubts persisted about the availability of bank finance.
Furthermore, in the container ship market, there was an 8 percentage point fall to 26 percent in the overall numbers expecting freight rates to go up. Expectation levels in relation to rate increases were down across all categories of respondents, most notably by brokers, which dropped 25 percentage points to 19 percent.