BIMCO Outlook on Containers: Record high influx of capacity burdens market
The Q3 2023 Shipping Market Overview & Outlook from BIMCO has been released which features an analysis of the container shipping market regarding supply and demand.
BIMCO’s chief shipping analyst, Niels Rasmussen finds in his report that record oil demand amplifies market strength.
"We forecast that global container volumes will grow by between -0.5% and 0.5% in 2023, and by between 3.0% and 4.0% in 2024", stated Niels Rasmussen, chief analyst at BIMCO.
During the first half of 2023, the back-haul and regional trade lanes have performed slightly worse than previously predicted. However, head-haul trades have performed slightly better and total volumes did in fact match our last forecast in May.
For 2024, BIMCO has lowered the growth forecast for both total volumes and combined head-haul and regional trade volumes by 2.5 percentage points compared to our previous base case scenario.
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"We have revised our fleet growth forecast to 7.9% in 2023 and 7.8% in 2024", stated Niels Rasmussen, chief analyst at BIMCO.
Year-to-date, the total TEU capacity of ships delivered from shipyards reached a record high. Shipowners have, however, continued to order new ships and the order book has remained only marginally smaller than the record 7.6 million TEU reached in March 2023.
Capacity of ship deliveries are therefore expected to reach new records in both 2023 and 2024, reaching 2.3 and 2.7 million TEU respectively.
As recycling of ships has increased only marginally compared to last year, BIMCO has reduced their recycling estimate for 2023 to 200,000 TEU while maintaining an estimate of 600,000 TEU for 2024.
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Head-haul and regional trade volumes fell 4.9% y/y during the first half of 2023, 8.0% in the first quarter and 2% in the second. They forecast volume growth of 6.1% y/y during the second half as BIMCO do not expect that the markets will see the same unseasonably strong decline as in 2022. Full year volumes are forecast to grow between 0.0% and 1.0% y/y.
Supply is expected to grow by 10.9% in 2023 and 2.8% in 2024. Lower sailing speeds will lower supply growth compared to fleet growth in both years. However, lower congestion than in 2022 adds to supply growth in 2023.
The worsened supply/demand balance has already taken its toll on both freight and time charter rates as well as second-hand ship prices.
Container Trades Statistics’ (CTS) global price index shows that average freight rates in June 2023 had fallen 61% y/y. Freight rates for exports from Asia have been particularly hurt but freight rates in all trade lanes have fallen.