Ugly rumours?

Are bulker owners being conned by brokers in Singapore and can Petrobras charterers avoid jail?

We take a look at what was said in the market over the past week.

“Rates should not be as low as they are right now. There is still plenty of cargo. If we had five open ships right now, we could fix them in a heartbeat,”

Anders Zorn of Golden Ocean wonders why bulker markets are so bad.

“They have huge set-ups in Singapore and they are desperate to cover costs. They pressure weaker owners to cave in to their gossip and nonsense and accept lower rates just so that they can get the business.”

And then he suggests an answer: over-brokering in Singapore.

Dismal market poses threat to Singapore’s dry bulk ambitions

“2007 was the last time and the next time is this year.”

CEO Rafi Danieli is positive Zim is about to break its losing streak as costs fall in 2015.

New Zim pledges profit

“It’s a war of attrition for the big guys. None of them can employ an alternative strategy and they’re all following Maersk at the expense of freight rates. It’s not a good place to be from a carrier’s point of view.”

Broker Richard Ward of FIS is less sanguine about the boxship sector, however.

Cost-cutting plan takes its toll as boxship rates hit record low

“While more vessels are sure to meet a similar fate in the near future, we think that even taking another 15 vessels out of the spot market will have little to no impact on the market.”

Broker Westshore thinks major surgery is needed if supply ship rates are to improve in the North Sea.

Desperate times

“The word from inside Petrobras is that some of the guys in management, the ones who have to sign contracts for vessel options, think it is much safer to charter a new ship because they can’t be completely certain if the old contract is somehow connected to the scandal or not, somewhere down the line.

“It is not that they don’t want a particular ship, or they may even prefer that ship, but they would rather charter a new one than maybe end up in jail.”

A broker outlines the chaotic situation over vessel charters at the Brazilian major, which has been mired in a corruption scandal. It would give a new meaning to “two-year stretch”, certainly.

Just 10 of 61 ships likely to bag work in Petrobras’ latest tender

“I am sorry it did not work out but it is, after all, a small part of our business.”

Western Bulk’s Jens Ismar looks on the bright side after shutting down the company’s panamax operation.

WB culls panamax unit

“It is nice to be able to go to a good friend and get a solid deal on one day’s notice.”

Think Avance Gas president Christian Andersen is bitter about BW snatching resales from a Chinese owner?

“But I will congratulate BW LPG on a good deal.”

Not a bit of it.

‘Late payments’ from China Peace opened BW door

“The question for MarAd and its mystery consultants is whose interests will be represented?”

US ship recycling lobbyist Denise Krepp is not happy about being locked out of talks on the country’s new maritime strategy.

The ‘mystery’ consultants at work on developing new US maritime strategy

“Ladies and gentlemen, you should believe a lot more in your mission. Bringing trade to the world will make the world much less poor and much more peaceful. Believe in that, speak often about it and tell people how important [shipping] is. Don’t shy away from it.”

OECD development assistance committee chair Erik Solheim lays it on thick. Flattery will get him everywhere.

Norwegian owners’ annual conference tackles big issues