APRIL 10, 2015 — If you want to feel bad about the state of world affairs, take a read of the foreword to the latest annual maritime outlook from the Norwegian Shipowners Association. Penned by the association's CEO, Sturla Henriksen, it's a sort of litany of doom — but not that cheery.
So, it's not too surprising that the report — Navigating in a New Climate 2015 — finds a downward shift in shipowner expectations for growth in turnover. Norwegian shipowners expect turnover to increase from the 2014 level of NOK 262 billion to NOK 268 billion in 2015, a 2.3 percent increase. This is markedly less optimistic than expectations of 6 percent in last year's survey. Shipowners are also less optimistic about their profitability in 2015 than they were in 2014: 35 percent of shipowners expect improved operating results, compared with 72 percent in 2014. In all 42 percent of shipowners anticipate weaker operating results in 2015, compared with only 8 percent in 2014.
Another concern is access to capital. Compared to results from the 2014 Outlook report, shipowners are more pessimistic regarding the financing market in 2015. In 2014, around half believed that access to capital was good or very good, while today only one in four feel that way.
Three of 10 respondents in the survey, about the same as last year, say that access to capital is tight or very tight, while 50 per cent of shipowners experience their access to financing as neutral. Only 3 percent of those reporting that access tocapital was important for them say they have very good access to financing for new projects.
Digging deeper into the report, things may not be quite as bad as they first appear. Its crammed with stats that underscore the fact that the Norwegian industry is as well equipped as any to confront the challenges ahead.
Download it HERE