Palm & Veg Report, January 2019

The shipping and commodity markets suffered huge losses in 2018, a year packed full of high drama and low comedy, and all hopes are now pinned on 2019 being a better year. The IMO 2020 global sulphur cap is expected be a highly disruptive factor when introduced later this year, according to most analysts anyway, although to what extent this will actually affect the market is unclear. The ongoing trade dispute between China and the USA is undoubtedly still influencing global trade patterns and this will continue until a solution is found. In the short term the ship owning community which enjoyed a massive end of year boost in earnings, is still trying to remain optimistic that the freight markets will yield better results this year compared to last. Charterers on the other hand are trying to recover from a gruelling year for the commodity business and although competition remains fierce, increased consumer confidence is expected to eventually boost demand and thus commodity values moving forward.

Keep your tin hats on and just be thankful that we are not in retail!

James Woolfson