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Markets > Market Reports > Short Sea > Steady/flat... Archive:
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16 April 2012

Steady/flat. No great surprise there then. This was always likely to be a slow week following the holiday in most European countries on Monday and so it proved to be. Quad Erat Demonstrandum. Activity was subdued throughout and so it's difficult to draw too many conclusions, although of late most weeks seem to have a similar feel regardless of whether there's been a holiday or not and it's getting difficult to draw many conclusions from them as well.

There's no real sense of urgency, it feels more like reluctant resignation, and no clearly visible surplus of spot tonnage yet in the final analysis there are always takers for every cargo and rates simply haven't moved enough either way to justify a headline. Sound familiar? Ultimately there are two ways of looking at it but both have the same ending. You can try to identify the subtlest of fluctuations and then attach great significance to them in order to make it sound more volatile, or you can tell it how it is. Up here in the North we tend to prefer the latter option i.e. nowt's changed.

The short term outlook and overall sentiment remain very much the same. The market is operating day to day, week to week and that still doesn’t look like changing any time soon. Bunker prices and a collective siege mentality are still underpinning an uneasy status quo which gives the feeling that the market is already essentially dragging along the bottom even though past performance would suggest there should be some scope for further decline. Traditionally April/May/June have the capability for strong performance but there’s little if any momentum at present and it won’t be long before the summer months are looming large on the horizon.

Hull City typically defied expectation and managed a stylish 2-1 win over Middlesbrough at the weekend. Almost enough to reignite their play-off ambitions but ultimately too little, too late.

Have a nice weekend.

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