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Teekay Tankers Ltd. Message Board

mikeyhorsehead 20 posts  |  Last Activity: Jan 28, 2016 10:09 AM Member since: Sep 8, 2012
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  • Reply to

    Preferred A

    by mikeyhorsehead Jan 28, 2016 9:48 AM
    mikeyhorsehead mikeyhorsehead Jan 28, 2016 10:09 AM Flag

    And they send you money once a month. :)

  • mikeyhorsehead by mikeyhorsehead Jan 28, 2016 9:48 AM Flag

    Up 30%

  • mikeyhorsehead by mikeyhorsehead Jan 27, 2016 10:15 AM Flag

    Up 17%

  • Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. has received a temporary default waiver from lenders, giving the company until Feb. 2 to negotiate a deal and avert a potential second trip into bankruptcy protection.

    The New York-based shipping company said it negotiated the wavier after missing a Jan. 15 quarterly payment to lenders owed $275 million. The company said it was unable to make the payment after it disclosed a violation of U.S. shipping provisions, which prompted the lender to cut off Eagle Bulk's access to the $50 million revolving portion of that loan.

    Eagle Bulk said it would use the waiver period to negotiate with lenders and shareholders on financing alternatives but cautioned those discussions could fail.

    top logistics news

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    Although it is only a few weeks in, 2016 is already shaping up to be a tough year for shipping companies, particularly dry bulk operators.

    The industry is facing falling demand in China and other countries that import commodities. Many shipping companies are selling ships to raise liquidity and weather the slowdown. The Baltic Dry Index, which measures the cost of shipping materials like iron ore, has hit record lows every day since the start of 2016.

    Many carriers are trying to stave off bigger problems, but shipping industry troubles have already caused several shippers to file for bankruptcy.

    Primorsk International Shipping Ltd., which operates a fleet of ice-class oil tankers in the Arctic, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday. Last September, Japan's Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha and Global Maritime Investments Cyprus Ltd., each filed for bankruptcy protection.

    Eagle Bulk is no stranger to bankruptcy either, having exited chapter 11 protection in October 2014. Through that proceeding, the company cut $975 million in debt from its balance sheet by converting the debt of lenders owed $1.2 billion into equity in the restructured company. The lenders also received a cash distribution. At that time, Eagle Bulk blamed its financial woes on "deteriorating charter-hire rates in the highly cyclical dry-bulk shipping industry."

    The company in November reported $29.1 million in net revenues--or revenues minus commissions--and a $20.4 million net loss for the three months ending September 2015. During the same period in 2014, when Eagle Bulk was in bankruptcy proceedings, revenues were $29.8 million and losses were $45.9 million.

    --Costas Paris and Patrick Fitzgerald contributed to this article.

    Write to Stephanie Gleason at stephanie.gleason@wsj.com

    Credit: By Stephanie Gleason

  • Falling demand from China and other major commodity importers is wreaking havoc on some of the world's biggest shipping companies, which are selling vessels en masse to survive the industry's deepest-ever crisis.

    "We've never seen anything like this," Emanuele Lauro, chief executive of New York-listed shipping major Scorpio Bulkers Inc., told The Wall Street Journal. "We never thought we would find ourselves in this situation when we were buying ships in 2013 and 2014 at historically low levels. But, in the past few months, the priority has been to create a liquidity runway."

    Scorpio Bulkers--part of Mr. Lauro's Scorpio Group, which also includes a fleet of tankers and ship-management services--was founded in 2013. It spent $1.5 billion for 28 "capesize" vessels, the biggest general-cargo ships in the water, between November 2013 and March 2014. But as the commodities market tumbled, it was forced to sell all of them at a loss of $400 million.

    The wrong bet took the company's shares by storm. Shares in Scorpio Bulkers have lost 85% of their value in the past year to close Tuesday at $3.67.

    The collapse is broadly in line with the tumbling Baltic Dry Index, which measures the cost of shipping raw materials such as iron ore, coal and grains. At its peak, before the 2008 financial crisis, it topped 11000 points, but Tuesday it closed at 363, hitting fresh record lows every day since the beginning of the year.

    The shipping industry is experiencing a prolonged downturn brought on by sluggish global economic growth, weak international trade volumes and a glut of ships. Dry-bulk operators have been hit particularly hard, as China's slower-growing economy requires less iron, coal and oil. Prices for those commodities also tumbled last year.

    "It's a bloodbath which calls into question the survival of many dry-bulk shipping companies," said Basil Karatzas, a New York-based maritime adviser. He said the number of capesize vessels in the water exceeds demand by more than 50%.

    Daily freight rates for newly built capes are currently around $3,000, but owners would break even only with rates of $6,000--or $12,000 for vessels with financing costs. For older vessels, the daily operating cost including financing can be up to $23,000.

    Mr. Karatzas said big players such as Scorpio and fellow major Star Bulk Carriers Corp. can withstand the difficult market conditions as long as they have access to capital markets. Nasdaq-listed Star Bulk, which is majority-owned by U.S. private investor Oaktree Capital Management LP, recently sold four capes still under construction, raising $148 million. Its shares closed Tuesday at 38.5 cents, compared with a high above $228 in October 2007.

    Nasdaq notified Star Bulk this month that it has six months for its stock to reach a minimum bid of $1 for 30 consecutive trading sessions, or it will face delisting. Other big bulk carriers in breach of the minimum-bid rule include DryShips Inc., FreeSeas Inc., Globus Maritime Ltd., Paragon Shipping Inc., Top Ships Inc. and Ultrapetrol Ltd.

    A handful of smaller operators filed for bankruptcy-court protection last year. Also last year, at least a dozen closely held companies ceased operations, mostly in Asia and Europe, brokers said.

    "A lot of companies have gone under, and more will go under this year," Mr. Lauro said. "We will go under if this market persists. Nobody is immune from this correction."

    Scorpio Bulkers now has a fleet of 49 smaller ships, and Mr. Lauro said he would try to hold on to them in hopes of a recovery.

    "This year is going to be very tough, but for those who can weather the storm, the upside could be very high," he said.

    The market is expected to be at least partially supported in the second half as increased volumes of grains come into play. Brokers said Ukrainian wheat exports will be moved in substantial volumes this year, boosted by the falling value of the hryvnia, while the lifting of a grains-export tax by the new Argentine government also should support the market.

    "We rely on moving products like cement and steel," Mr. Lauro said. "The grain-exports pickup will boost the market, but agro products alone is not enough, and this year I don't see any other drivers strong enough to push the market up."

    Write to Costas Paris at costas.paris@wsj.com

    Corrections & Amplifications: Shares in Scorpio Bulkers listed in New York at $9.75. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated they listed at $117. (Jan. 20, 2015)

    Credit: By Costas Paris

  • Reply to

    Keep selling

    by mikepmattera Jan 8, 2016 11:59 AM
    mikeyhorsehead mikeyhorsehead Jan 8, 2016 12:23 PM Flag

    Hard to believe. Someones wrong. Just bought some as well.

  • Reply to

    NM Downgraded to Sell at Stifel

    by mizesaw Jan 7, 2016 11:16 AM
    mikeyhorsehead mikeyhorsehead Jan 7, 2016 11:55 AM Flag

    That would be typical. That's why most analyst recommendations are practically worthless.

  • Reply to

    What would you do with my money ?

    by oscarwilliamson666 Dec 30, 2015 1:36 PM
    mikeyhorsehead mikeyhorsehead Jan 6, 2016 9:50 AM Flag

    Ridiculous.

  • Reply to

    What would you do with my money ?

    by oscarwilliamson666 Dec 30, 2015 1:36 PM
    mikeyhorsehead mikeyhorsehead Jan 5, 2016 7:31 PM Flag

    Navios Maritime Partners L.P. (Navios Partners) is a publicly listed master limited partnership. You are incorrect.

  • LONDON | BY JONATHAN SAUL
    A seagull flies past a cargo container ship off the coast of Mumbai, India, December 3, 2015. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade
    A seagull flies past a cargo container ship off the coast of Mumbai, India, December 3, 2015.
    REUTERS/SHAILESH ANDRADE
    Shipping companies that transport commodities such as coal, iron ore and grain face a painful year ahead, with only the strongest expected to weather a deepening crisis caused by tepid demand and a surplus of vessels for hire.

    The predicament facing firms that ship commodities in large unpackaged amounts - known as dry bulk - is partly the result of slower coal and iron ore demand from leading global importer China in the second half of 2015.

    The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index - which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities - plunged to an all-time low this month.

    In stark contrast, however, tankers that transport oil have in recent months enjoyed their best earnings in years. As crude prices have plummeted, bargain-buying has driven up demand, while owners have moved more aggressively to scrap vessels to head off the kind of surplus seen in the dry bulk market.

    Symeon Pariaros, chief administrative officer of Athens-run and New York-listed shipping firm Euroseas, said the outlook for the dry bulk market was "very challenging".

    "Demand fundamentals are so weak. The Chinese economy, which is the main driver of dry bulk, is way below expectations," he added. "Only companies with very strong balance sheets will get through this storm."

    The dry bulk shipping downturn began in 2008, after the onset of the financial crisis, and has worsened significantly this year as the Chinese economy has slowed. The Baltic Exchange's main BDI index - which gauges the cost of shipping such commodities, also including cement and fertilizer - is more than 95 percent down from a record high hit in 2008.

    The index is often regarded as a forward-looking economic indicator. With about 90 percent of the world's traded goods by volume transported by sea, global investors look to the BDI for any signs of changes in sentiment for industrial demand.

    "The state of the dry bulk market especially indicates that economies worldwide are likely to stay weak, much to the disappointment of central banks ... FX traders, miners, steel makers, trading houses, and commodity economies," said Basil Karatzas, head of New York consultancy and brokerage Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.

    Ratings agency Fitch downgraded the shipping sector to negative, from stable, this month due to slowing global trade and an economic slowdown in emerging markets, adding that dry bulk would remain under pressure.

    COMMODITY PRESSURE

    Slowing demand and concerns over the health of the Chinese and global economies have pushed the 19-commodity Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB Index, which tracks the prices of 19 commodities including oil and grains, to its lowest level since 2002.

    "There is no doubt that the overall macro situation is one that does not engender a lot of confidence for increased trade flows in 2016 and beyond," said Khalid Hashim, managing director of Precious Shipping, one of Thailand's largest dry cargo ship owners.

    Worsening conditions have already claimed casualties.

    In September, Japanese bulk carrier Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha filed for protection from creditors, and private equity backed Global Maritime Investment Cyprus Ltd filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States.

    Smaller dry bulk ship owners are expected to struggle in coming months.

    "There are clearly big problems for almost all dry bulk owners, certainly those who cannot subsidize dry bulk through ownership in tankers. Debt can only be serviced through reserves of capital and not from cash-flow," said Tony Foster, chief executive of British shipping asset manager Marine Capital.

    "Public companies will issue discounted shares. Small private companies without obvious external support will be at the most risk."

    Ship owners are also contending with more vessel orders, which are expected to increase oversupply further.

    While the dry bulk market has been in a downturn since 2008, there have been brief rebound periods of relatively good earnings in that time that emboldened ship owners to order more vessels, which normally take up to three years to deliver.

    "Too many factors are against ship owners at present, and January sees a disproportionate delivery of vessels from the shipyards," said Karatzas.

    Analysis from Axia Capital Markets showed the cumulative loss of revenues for 13 shipping companies publicly listed in New York reached over $3.36 billion in the first nine months of 2015.

    "Given the current oversupply of vessels in the marketplace that has built up over the past five years, we expect rates to remain at depressed levels for at least two more years as the market struggles to find a new equilibrium," said Robert Perri of Axia Capital Markets.

    DIVERGING FORTUNES

    By contrast, demand for oil tankers and the rates they command have surged to their highest levels since 2008 in the past three months.

    Dry bulk shipping markets have been hit hard by a slide in demand for coal by China, which is also trying to ease its dependence on the polluting fuel and meet environmental pledges.

    But the country has been looking to boost strategic reserves of crude, taking advantage of multi-year lows in prices, which has helped the oil tanker market rally. Earlier this month China said it more than doubled the size of its strategic crude oil reserves between November 2014 and the middle of this year, a rate exceeding analysts' estimates.

    Oil tanker players have been more conservative since 2008 in ordering ships as they experienced rock-bottom rates that saw earnings falling below zero as recently as last year, meaning owners clocked up losses every day. The scrapping of tankers, which picked up in 2011, has also shrunk the fleet.

    Average earnings for supertankers hauling 2 million barrels of oil on the benchmark Middle East Gulf to Japan route have surged to over $110,000 a day.

    In contrast, average earnings for capesize ships, among the largest vessels used to haul coal and iron ore, have slumped to under $5,000 a day in recent weeks – below the basic operating cost level a ship needs to break even, which is around $8,000.

    "The (tanker) market is on fire," said Deutsche Bank analyst Amit Mehrotra, but added: "Owners of dry bulk ships are likely to spend the holiday break quietly reflecting on how they will further endure the worst market many have seen in their lifetimes."

  • mikeyhorsehead by mikeyhorsehead Dec 17, 2015 9:46 AM Flag

    Folks confused?

  • mikeyhorsehead mikeyhorsehead Dec 16, 2015 4:14 PM Flag

    Some people have more that doubled their money in two years. Looking forward to January.

  • Reply to

    Does anybody else...

    by kosmiccharly Dec 15, 2015 1:27 PM
    mikeyhorsehead mikeyhorsehead Dec 15, 2015 2:36 PM Flag

    Just because someone is taking profits, does not mean they have completely sold out. They could still have plenty of shares.

  • Reply to

    Does anybody else...

    by kosmiccharly Dec 15, 2015 1:27 PM
    mikeyhorsehead mikeyhorsehead Dec 15, 2015 1:49 PM Flag

    Some folks are taking profits? That's my guess. You could have bought this under $3.00 dollars a couple of years ago.

  • Dry bulk shipping record low a warning flag for global economy
    * Dry bulk shipping sector in one of worst ever downturns

    * BDI index slump mirroring other commodities indicators

    * Graphic: reut.rs/1lynzz7

    By Jonathan Saul

    LONDON, Nov 20 A slump in dry bulk shipping is set to worsen as the meltdown in global commodities and too many ships free for hire rock the sector used by investors to gauge the health of world trade.

    Slower coal and iron ore demand from China - the world's biggest industrial importer - have battered the dry bulk sector, already in the midst of its worst ever downturns that is expected to extend well into next year.

    This week the Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index , which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities and seen by investors as a forward-looking indicator of global industrial activity, plunged to an all-time low.

    A slump in oil and other commodity prices, due to slowing Chinese demand, has widely been seen as one of the reasons for U.S. Federal Reserve hesitancy in tightening policy.

    "Dry bulk demand is very much dependent on the world economy," said Symeon Pariaros, chief administrative officer of Athens-run and New York-listed shipping firm Euroseas.

    "The slowdown in the world economy has caused both dry bulk and container shipping to suffer a lot lately. Euroseas, having exposure in both these sectors, is facing the consequences of this very low rate environment."

    The Baltic's BDI index, which gauges the cost of shipping resources including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser, has dropped to 498 points and is over 95 percent down from its all-time high of 11,793 points in 2008 before the financial crisis first hurt the sector.

    "Demand slowing down and (ship) supply continuing to increase are the reasons why we will see the BDI likely hit figures in the 400 point level, which would be absolutely uncharted territory for the market," said Khalid Hashim, managing director of Precious Shipping, one of Thailand's largest dry cargo owners.

    JAPANESE CASUALTY

    Worries over China and the health of the world economy have also pushed the 19-commodity Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB Index to near 13-year lows in recent days, mirroring in part some of the pain felt by dry freight players.

    "You can't ignore the role of sentiment in the markets. Right now dry cargo shipowners' heads are down and they are taking a daily battering at these earnings levels," said Tony Foster, chief executive of British shipping asset manager Marine Capital.

    "The market is clearly very weak in the short-term and 2016 is going to be very difficult."

    There have already been casualties. In September, Japanese bulk carrier Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha filed for protection from creditors. This followed private equity backed Global Maritime Investment Cyprus Ltd, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States.

    While prospects for commodities markets are shaky, the dry bulk freight players will also need to contend with more ship deliveries hitting the water in coming months.

    "More vessels have to be scrapped, no additional newbuildings (new ship orders) and further delay deliveries - all these take time, more than one year, implying that in the interim the market will be ugly, and a great number of shipowners will not have the cash to bridge the weak market," said Basil Karatzas, head of New York consultancy and brokerage Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.

    "Some may be flexible to get money from funds for working capital ... and otherwise sacrifice some equity to save the business, but many small shipowners will be washed out."

    Read more at Reutershttp://www.reuters.com/article/shipping-baltic-bulk-idUSL8N13F1XJ20151120#ejEtKArwQYbfISr8.99

  • The collapse of global demand for hard commodities has been rough on shipping lines that transport coal, iron ore and other materials. By one new estimate, the gloom is not expected to lift for at least another year.

    Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd. said this week that companies in the dry bulk shipping industry are not expected to return to profitability until at least 2017.

    The research company's dry bulk freight rate index, a measure of the price of shipping commodities, fell 14.5% in September from August, and 4.4% from a year earlier. Freight rates are down 32% since their recent peak in December 2013.

    Drewry predicts further declines and reported that freight rates have fallen another 13.8% between September and November, although numbers for the full fourth quarter will not be available until early next year.

    Weak freight rates have shown up in the share prices of publicly-traded bulk shipping companies, many of which are now penny stocks. Greece's Star Bulk Carriers Corp., one of the largest dry bulk carriers, has watched its share price fall 88% since the beginning of the year - it now trades at $0.80 per share. Paragon Shipping Inc. is down 93%, trading at $0.18 per share, and shares of DryShips Inc., a holding company for dry bulk carrier vessels and oil tankers, is down 85% to just over $0.15 a share.

    "Demand has almost dried up," said Rahul Saharan, Drewry's lead analyst for the dry bulk industry. "The major demand drivers - China's iron ore imports have stagnated, China's coal imports have come down massively and India's coal import growth has also slowed down.

    Demand for iron ore is forecast to grow at between 3% and 4% over the next few years, Drewry said, but demand for coal, especially in China, is not expected to rebound soon.

    In a separate report, Drewry said Thursday that crude oil shipping rates, are set to decline in 2016 from their current highs, due in part to new orders of oil tankers expected to come online over the next few years. Tankers that are currently being used as floating storage facilities are also expected to re-enter service transporting oil.

    Write to Robbie Whelan at robbie.whelan@wsj.com

    Credit: By Robbie Whelan

  • Reply to

    Bradley Ehrman Insider Buy

    by mikeyhorsehead Nov 14, 2015 10:09 AM
    mikeyhorsehead mikeyhorsehead Nov 30, 2015 10:33 AM Flag

    I think you've been following this as long as I have. :)

  • Baltic Dry Index Falls Below 500 for First Time Ever
    November 20, 2015 by Reuters

    Photo: Shutterstock/Volodymyr Kyrylyuk
    Photo: Shutterstock/Volodymyr Kyrylyuk
    ReutersBy Jonathan Saul

    LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) – A slump in dry bulk shipping is set to worsen as the meltdown in global commodities and too many ships free for hire rock the sector used by investors to gauge the health of world trade.

    Slower coal and iron ore demand from China – the world’s biggest industrial importer – have battered the dry bulk sector, already in the midst of its worst ever downturns that is expected to extend well into next year.

    This week the Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index , which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities and seen by investors as a forward-looking indicator of global industrial activity, plunged to an all-time low.

    A slump in oil and other commodity prices, due to slowing Chinese demand, has widely been seen as one of the reasons for U.S. Federal Reserve hesitancy in tightening policy.

    “Dry bulk demand is very much dependent on the world economy,” said Symeon Pariaros, chief administrative officer of Athens-run and New York-listed shipping firm Euroseas.

    “The slowdown in the world economy has caused both dry bulk and container shipping to suffer a lot lately. Euroseas, having exposure in both these sectors, is facing the consequences of this very low rate environment.”

    The Baltic’s BDI index, which gauges the cost of shipping resources including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertilizer, has dropped to 498 points and is over 95 percent down from its all-time high of 11,793 points in 2008 before the financial crisis first hurt the sector.

    “Demand slowing down and (ship) supply continuing to increase are the reasons why we will see the BDI likely hit figures in the 400 point level, which would be absolutely uncharted territory for the market,” said Khalid Hashim, managing director of Precious Shipping, one of Thailand’s largest dry cargo owners.

    JAPANESE CASUALTY

    Worries over China and the health of the world economy have also pushed the 19-commodity Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB Index to near 13-year lows in recent days, mirroring in part some of the pain felt by dry freight players.

    “You can’t ignore the role of sentiment in the markets. Right now dry cargo shipowners’ heads are down and they are taking a daily battering at these earnings levels,” said Tony Foster, chief executive of British shipping asset manager Marine Capital.

    “The market is clearly very weak in the short-term and 2016 is going to be very difficult.”

    There have already been casualties. In September, Japanese bulk carrier Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha filed for protection from creditors. This followed private equity backed Global Maritime Investment Cyprus Ltd, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States.

    While prospects for commodities markets are shaky, the dry bulk freight players will also need to contend with more ship deliveries hitting the water in coming months.

    “More vessels have to be scrapped, no additional newbuildings (new ship orders) and further delay deliveries – all these take time, more than one year, implying that in the interim the market will be ugly, and a great number of shipowners will not have the cash to bridge the weak market,” said Basil Karatzas, head of New York consultancy and brokerage Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.

    “Some may be flexible to get money from funds for working capital … and otherwise sacrifice some equity to save the business, but many small shipowners will be washed out.”

    (Editing by Veronica Brown and William Hardy)

    (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015.

  • mikeyhorsehead by mikeyhorsehead Nov 14, 2015 10:09 AM Flag

    Bradley Ehrman Insider Buy

    The Chief Operating Officer of Dorchester Minerals – L.P., Bradley Ehrman, has just acquired – 1,081 shares of the firm he’s managing – coming to a total investment of $15,134 U.S Dollars (this based on average share price of $14.0). It seems he is very active lately as in the last 30 days, he silently purchased additional shares of the company, worth $ USD. The transaction will most probably not remain unnoticed as it was big one. Now, he has rights to a total of 26,565 shares or 0.09% of Dorchester Minerals – L.P.’s market capitalization. A filing documented published 13/11/2015 with the D.C. based-SEC, made public here, shows the complete information of the investment.

  • mikeyhorsehead by mikeyhorsehead Nov 13, 2015 10:47 AM Flag

    Worse is still to come for many bulk carriers

    HOW low can the Baltic Dry Index go? That is the question the owners of bulk carriers--ships that carry loose commodities such as coal and iron ore--are asking themselves. Between the start of the financial crisis and January this year, the index--a measure of bulk freight rates--had fallen by 95%. Many in the industry had hoped it would start to recover this year. But there is not much sign of that--and it looks as if more pain is still in store for shipowners.

    Overcapacity is the main reason for such low rates. When the index approached an eye-watering figure of 12,000 in 2008, shipyards could not keep up with the orders for new bulk carriers. But then the bubble popped, as demand for commodities collapsed due to the financial crisis, and Chinese economic growth underwent a structural shift away from heavy industry. The index fell to a 30-year low of around 500 in February. There was a modest rebound in the summer, but it did not last.

    Shares in dry-bulk shipping lines have tanked as a result. The Guggenheim Shipping ETF, a weighted index of such shares, lost 23% of its value in the first nine months of the year. Some highly indebted operators, such as DryShips, an Athens-based outfit, have performed even worse: its shares have fallen by about 80% so far this year.

    As a brief summer recovery has fizzled out, and as some firms have started to run out of cash, there has been a spate of bankruptcies. Several Asian bulk carriers, such as Daebo International of South Korea and Daiichi Chuo Kisen of Japan, have been forced to seek bankruptcy protection. In July, Lithuania's government pulled the plug on its state-owned bulk-carrier line, so bad was its prognosis for the industry.

    More dry-bulk lines, especially smaller ones, are likely to go bankrupt in the months to come, says Angelina Valavina of Fitch, a credit-rating agency. This is because banks have slashed their lending to the sector. There are few lines that could afford to take on any more debt.

    And unlike in the container-shipping business, the dry-bulk lines are not cutting costs and capacity through consolidation. That is partly because of a lack of co-operation between carriers, but also because there are hardly any profitable firms with the financial strength to take over the stragglers. Without a sustained increase in freight rates, more bankruptcies may be the sector's only way back to profitability.

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