Thu, Mar 01, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Yang Ming Marine prospects not likely to improve this year

HIGHER COSTS:A rising oil price, which is likely to be 20 percent higher than last year, would translate to higher fuel costs, Yang Ming’s Bronson Hsieh said

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運) on Monday gave a conservative outlook on its earnings this year amid sluggish demand in the global container shipping sector.

While the company expects its bottom line to have returned to the black at the end of last year, prospects are not likely to improve significantly until next year, Yang Ming Marine chairman Bronson Hsieh (謝志堅) said.

Prospects remain unclear for the global container shipping sector this year and earnings would depend on market conditions and the oil price, he said.

While Alphaliner expects supply growth to continue to outpace demand growth this year at 5.9 percent against 5.1 percent, the sector could outperform the forecast if factors such as capacity disruptions from China’s holiday seasons in May and October are included, Hsieh said, adding that an upward revision of global economic growth could also create demand.

In addition to the US and Europe, robust economic growth is expected in central and south America, as well as India, he said.

The company is also expecting growth in Southeast Asia as its commitment to the government’s New Southbound Policy begins to bear fruit, with shipping in the region seeing a 15 percent rise to 1.3 million twenty-foot-equivalent units last year.

However, a rising oil price, which is expected to be 20 percent higher than last year at between US$60 and US$65 per barrel, would translate into higher fuel costs, he added.

Yang Ming Marine has not yet released its results for the final quarter of last year.

The company recorded net income of NT$1.26 billion (US$43.1 million) in the third quarter of last year, or earnings per share of NT$0.73, its first profitable quarter since 2013.

Cumulative losses stood at NT$82 million at the end of the third quarter, or losses per share of NT$0.05.

Separately, SinoPac Securities Investment Service Corp (永豐投顧) is upbeat on the nation’s dry bulk carriers on expectations of higher freight prices next month as post-holiday inventory restocking begins.

The Baltic Dry Index — which tracks the costs of transporting dry commodities such as coal, iron ore and grain on 20 shipping routes — last week posted a 4.7 percent rebound to 1,146 points, SinoPac Securities said in a report published on Friday last week.

The index could climb as high as 2,000 points this year as fewer new bulk shippers are being added to global capacity, the report said.

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