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Media Mentions

Tradewinds: Converts Cast Dark Cloud
January 23, 2015
"In response to concerns about these rumours Poten & Partners issued a report in which it argued that this does not appear to be the beginning of a broader trend. 'We don’t expect that this development will become so widespread that it will pose an immediate threat to the health of the tanker market,' the firm told clients Friday.

"While Poten believes more capesize orders will be converted in the coming months it pointed out that there are a number of obstacles to overcome. The tanker broker noted not all shipyards are equipped to build both bulkers and tankers or lack the designs that would be needed to fulfil the new contract. It also argued that many would oppose the proposition unless they were approached by prominent owners with deep pockets and numerous newbuildings.

“'The shipbuilder will want to ensure that these conversions do not significantly interrupt planned construction and procurement,' Poten added. “'Shipyards are also keen to maintain their profit margins when changing from one vessel-type to the other.' The tanker broker pointed out that there were approximately 336 capesize bulkers on order at Asian shipyards as of 1 January 2015.

"Of these Poten claims nearly 20% are already under construction, which means it’s probably too late to convert these units into another type of tonnage. 'Even if construction has not yet started, a switch to another vessel type is only feasible if the same yard has an existing design and a proven track record of building such vessels,' it added. Of the 38 yards that landed these cape orders Poten claims only 11 are capable of building tankers of a similar size, which eliminates another 104 units from the total number of candidates.

“'If one assumes, which we believe to be reasonable, that the owners that will most aggressively push for conversions are the ones with experience in both dry bulk and tanker markets, the field is whittled down even further,” it continued. Based on this assessment Poten believes only 50 of the capes on order in Asia are realistic candidates for conversion and noted a number of these contracts are already subject to what it described as “active negotiations'.

"As we reported it is widely believed that affiliates of Norwegian shipping magnate John Fredriksen, Cargill and a few other operators have approached shipyards about conversion.

"In addition to the obstacles outlined by Poten industry observers note cost is prohibitive as well, particularly to those that are looking to swap a cape for a suezmax.

"While the conversion craze is, in part, a response to renewed optimism about the future of the tanker market, sources note the trend also serves as further evidence that turbulence in the dry-bulk market is unlikely to end anytime soon."

Bloomberg: Mozambique LNG May Propel Africa Past Qatar in Europe Supplies
January 21, 2015
"Mozambique could push Africa above Qatar as Europe's top liquefied natural gas source, aided by offshore discoveries by Eni totaling a confirmed 2.1 trillion cubic meters of potential gas reserves. This mean Mozambique has about 7 trillion cubic meters of reserves, according to ENH, the state oil company. Africa supplied 41% of Europe's LNG imports in 2013 versus 45% from Qatar, according to Poten & Partners."
Lloyd's List: Newly Reported West Africa-Europe Suezmax Spot Trade Performing Well For Owners
January 16, 2015
"In terms of charterers, Chevron is the top charterer of suezmax crude tankers on the spot market, according to a recent study by Poten & Partners."
Tradewinds: Vitol Tied to Products Tanker Buy
January 16, 2015
"US broker Poten & Partners says it replaced BP as the third-biggest charterer of crude tankers last year. It is also leading in securing VLCCs for storage and this week fixed at least five units, typically for one year each."
Platts: China's Unipec Tops Dirty Tanker Market Share in 2014, Shell Second
January 13, 2015
"China's Unipec retained its top spot among dirty tanker charterers in 2014 with 7.8% of total fixtures in the market, shipbrokers Poten & Partners said in a report released over the weekend."
Maritime CEO: The Year in Review
January 13, 2015
"However, not everyone is convinced that this new direction for shipping will last forever. Michael Tusiani, Chairman of US brokers Poten & Partners, told readers that the advent of public money and other sources of capital such as private equity and hedge funds has changed the landscape because of the effective separation of the ownership of physical assets from their day-to-day operations.

"'It seems that access to public financing has outweighed the desire for secrecy which the traditional shipowner valued so highly,' he noted. The primary focus of these public shipping companies, he reckoned, is to demonstrate quarterly growth. 'As there is a greater pressure to produce quicker returns, operational integrity could be potentially compromised,' he warned. Most shipowners have put making short-term profit above all else, Tusiani said. 'The long term doesn't seem to matter particularly when capital markets are robust,' he added.

"However, Tusiani does not believe that this new shipping structure -- where ownership is separated from commercial and technical management – will last for a long time. 'As soon as there is a major problem, charterers will not stand for them,' he predicted."
Energy Global: H1 2014 LNG Market Round Up
January 13, 2015
"The number of spot charter transactions in the third quarter almost tripled year on year to 52, according to ship broker Poten & Partners."
Coal Spot.com: Fuel Efficient Ships Make Less Sense in Lower Bunker Market
January 12, 2015
"According to a recent report from Poten & Partners, 'due to the high oil prices over the last couple of years and the anticipation of continuing high prices in the future, owners have made operational adjustments by utilizing slow steaming on the ballast leg of a voyage, while shipyards and engine manufacturers have worked hard to improve the fuel efficiency of new ships. Using a VLCC as the basis for such analysis as the longer voyages benefit relatively more from fuel efficiency, we use a 2007 built VLCC ordered when HFO prices were around $160/MT and a modern 2013 built VLCC. Vessels can vary significantly in their fuel consumption, both through design and over time, dependent on the condition of the hull paint, etc. The modern vessel in our example saves 7 tons/day in laden condition compared to the older design and 4 tons/day while in ballast. For the comparison we will use the typical VLCC round trip voyage from Ras Tanura to Chiba using the current fuel price ($460/MT) and the average price during the first 6 months of 2014 ($609/MT). On the round trip, the fuel efficient vessel saves $116,200 in fuel with current prices and $151,500 in the higher price environment compared to the 2007 built vessel. This represents savings of $2,179/day in time charter equivalent (TCE) at current bunker prices and $2,839 at 2014H1 bunker prices'.

"Poten added that 'in order to improve TCE, owners have made operational adjustments by slow steaming during the ballast leg of the voyages, and during the laden leg where it was permitted in the charter party. This helps the owners by improving the economics on individual voyages as the fuel cost savings more than offset the longer steaming time when the market is low. An added benefit is that slow steaming reduces the efficiency or the fleet as more vessels are needed to move the same volume of cargo. Earlier in the year, when the rates were lower, slow steaming made more sense as the additional revenue that could be earned during the additional 3.9 ballasting days was lower than the fuel savings. At current market rates and lower bunker prices, this situation has shifted. At least for the vessel and voyage combination in our example, increasing the ballast speed could prove to be beneficial. The situation could be different for other vessels and voyages, but it makes the case for owners to run the numbers. The benefits of fuel efficient designs might have been reduced for now but the investment is for 20+ years and fuel prices are likely to increase again in the future', the analyst concluded."
Bloomberg: Floating Storage of Crude Still Not Attractive, Poten says
January 12, 2015
"Brent spot price is $5/bbl below July contract, which is not enough to spur floating storage, ship broker Poten & Partners say in report."
Tradewinds: Unipec Stays Number One
January 12, 2015
"The Chinese company booked 815 ships last year, representing 7.8% of all dirty fixtures, according to US broker Poten & Partners.

...“Together, Chinese companies cover approximately 40% of the reported VLCC spot market,' Poten said."
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