The average confidence level expressed by respondents in Moore Stephens’ Shipping Confidence Survey was unchanged at the level of 6.2 out of 10.0 recorded in the previous survey in August 2017.
Confidence on the part of charterers was significantly up, from 4.7 to 7.7, the highest rating recorded for this category of respondent since the survey was launched in May 2008 with an overall rating of 6.8.
Managers — up from 5.8 to 6.1 — were also more optimistic, while brokers’ confidence was unchanged at 6.3. The rating for owners, however, fell from 6.5 to 6.4.
Confidence levels were down in Asia, from 6.4 to 5.7, and unchanged in Europe and North America, at 6.3 and 5.8 respectively.
The likelihood of respondents making a major investment or significant development over the next 12 months was down from 5.4 to 5.3 out of 10.0. Charterers’ confidence, however, was up from 4.0 to 6.2. Expectations on the part of owners and brokers were up from 5.8 to 5.9 and from 4.4 to 5.3 respectively, but down from 5.4 to 5.3 for managers. Asian respondents — down from 5.9 to 5.0 — were less confident in this regard, but in North Americ, the rating was up from 4.9 to 5.4. In Europe, expectations held steady at 5.2, according to Moore Stephens.
Although overall expectations of making major investments over the next 12 months were marginally down on the three-year high recorded in the previous survey, several respondents saw encouraging signs of recovery, and potential for further improvement, particularly in the dry bulk sector.
59% of respondents expected finance costs to increase over the coming year, up from 50% last time to equal the highest figure since October 2008. Owners’ expectations were up from 48% to 54%, while the increase for charterers was from 67% to 83%, and for brokers from 42% to 60%. Managers, meanwhile, recorded a fall from 62% to 61%.
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