The oil market is notoriously linked to geopolitics. Most recently, the political situation in Venezuela creates turmoil in the region and particularly affects crude oil exports.
Calling a market turnaround to perfection is pure luck. But scouting for pillars that would support a higher level of demand makes sense. First up is the next Brazilian soya bean export season.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised down its predictions for global growth in 2019 and 2020. It forecasts growth to be 3.5% in 2019 and 3.6% in 2020. This means a dampening of global growth over the next two years, as growth in 2018 is estimated to be 3.7% The slowdown will affect both advanced and emerging economies.
European containerised imports look likely to be stuck with demand growth of no more than 2% for years to come. That means the long-hauls into northern and southern Europe, where Ultra Large Containerships are perfectly suited to reap the benefits of economies of scale, will suffer unless cascading is accelerated.
Following an almost total halt in exports of soya beans to China in the last quarter of 2018, the new year has brought new hopes for American farmers and the dry bulk shipping sector.