My Christmas list is dominated by vinyl albums this year. Even one of my kids has converted from iTunes or Napster and is making a racket with this medium from yesteryear (I won’t bore you with my musical taste, but check out Benjamin Clementine!). Who would have thought vinyl would make a resurgence at the time of CDs, let alone today’s modern streaming services!
As we look forward to the holiday season I am rather bracing myself for those year-end market reviews from several of our larger broking companies. I watch the tanker market in awe but follow the dry cargo, container and off-shore markets in a rather more sober mood. Analysts’ reflections on those latter markets are likely to struggle to point to the catalyst for any resurgence right now.
Resurgence may be too strong a word, but markets recover and so will those shipping sectors seeking reasons to be cheerful.
The Board and management team at the Baltic Exchange have had a busy year.
We have recently celebrated 30 years of Baltic indices and continue to ensure that they meet the market’s needs by updating vessel descriptions and routes. October saw the introduction of the new 58,000 dwt supramax vessel type and we hope soon to see FFA contracts settling against this benchmark. We also added new three new trial tanker routes in December.
Watch out also for panamax and handysize ship descriptions and route reviews into 2016. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our panelists for their diligence and support in enabling the Baltic Exchange to proudly retain its global position within the maritime industry.
Our Membership Committee has worked tirelessly on your behalf, reinforcing our code of conduct, and perhaps arguably realigning the moral compass of less disciplined players. In 2015 we recovered around $1.5 million on behalf of our members.
The Baltic was a driving force behind London International Shipping Week this September which saw large numbers of Baltic members from around the world coming to the UK capital. It was a week of high level meetings, worthwhile business-centric events and memorable social functions. Put September 11-15th 2017 in your diary!
Following LISW we welcomed a shipbroker, Lord (Jeffrey) Mountevans as our new Lord Mayor of the City of London for 2016. We wish him every success for his year ahead and look forward to the recommendations from the Maritime Growth Study, which he chaired, being actioned.
We successfully represented the interests of our members in Brussels as very unwelcome proposals regarding the implementation rules for MiFID2 were drafted and then substantially revised, specifically in the context of freight derivatives. As a result it seems that most, if not all, non-financial companies involved in trading FFAs will avoid being regulated firms on the basis of their FFA activity.
Our ever popular training courses saw over 200 shipping executives attend courses in London, Singapore and New York for instruction in a wide range of topics from shipping economics to advanced freight modelling and trading. The courses are attended by shipping people with a wide range of experience from junior through to very senior. Dates for 2016 courses are already up on the Baltic’s website.
Whilst I look forward with optimism to better markets ahead, as well as completing my term as your Chairman and handing over the baton in July, I wish you and your families a very safe and happy holiday and every success in 2016.
As for New Year’s Eve, the Rolling Stones will certainly sit on my turntable, perhaps welcoming the New Year with a rendition of ‘You can’t always get what you want, but if you try… you might find
you get what you need’.