Diana Shipping finds work for capesize

New York-listed owner nets new charter from SwissMarine amid signs of market improvement.

Diana Shipping has penned fresh charter coverage for one of its capesize bulkers.

New York-listed Diana says SwissMarine, the present charterer of the vessel, has fixed the 177,729-dwt Houston (built 2009) for an extra 13 to 15 months.

The first 15 days of the charter are priced at $5,150 per day and the balance of the contract will run at $10,000 per day.

Diana told investors the contract would generate revenue of at least $3.68m.

The deal has been signed at a time when capesize rates have been falling, with Axia Capital pointing to flooding and heavy rain in north west Australia limiting iron ore shipments.

Today, however, saw some improvement in the market, which Clarksons Platou Securities attributed to increased transatlantic activity helping lift sentiment.

Clarksons Platou Securities also noted a firming in FFA levels today, with March 2017 paper up $350 to around $6,300 per day and 2Q17 contracts hovering around $7,800 day per day.

Earlier this week Diana Shipping reported a fourth quarter loss of $24.7m, taking its 2016 loss to $170m - a fourth successive year in the red.

Its adjusted loss per share for the quarter of $0.31 was eight cents better than Wall Street had projected for the period.

Despite the unprofitable sequence, Diana Shipping finished 2016 with $98.1m in cash and assets of $1.7bn.

Greg Lewis of Credit-Suisse said: “Diana Shipping’s balance sheet remains one of the industry's best, but under a scenario where cape/panamax spot rates stay at cash breakeven levels (their average quarter to date), we estimate Diana has a cash runway until second quarter 2018 before additional capital will be required."