Maritime Cyprus ends on a high note
The “Maritime Cyprus 2017” Conference concluded Limassol with the third and final day focusing on Limassol developing as a maritime hub, analysis of market forecasting and the impact oil and natural gas exploration in the region could have on shipping.
Limassol Mayor Nicos Nicolaides elaborated on “Limassol as a maritime and energy hub” adding that this is a city of new opportunities, where beyond the maritime and financial activities, the port town supports all efforts towards the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons.
A discussion on “Market Forecasting” was moderated by Bob Jaques, Editor of Seatrade Maritime Review. The panelists for this discussion were Alfred Hartmann, President of the Association of German Shipowners (VDR), Fotios Katsoulas, Shipping Data Manager and Fleet & Newbuilding Analyst of Affinity Research LLP and Peter Sand, Chief Shipping Analyst of BIMCO.
The discussion focused on the current market trends, with freight profitability a tangible target for the very near future. It was stressed that the market is currently experiencing a relatively better fundamental balance between supply and demand.
The importance of maintaining a significant level of demolition activity was mentioned as shipowners can control the supply of vessels since the demand side is beyond their control. It was mentioned that a substantial demand in dry bulk was noted in the first half of this year, a clear sign of positive development in the industries affecting global shipping.
With regards to oil tankers it was mentioned that the market will increase by 2020 provided that the balance between supply and demand is maintained. The tanker fleet is still growing while scrapping is affected by the current age profile of the fleet. Reference was made to the orders of the largest container ships in the world in September 2017. The decrease of the life expectancy of the container vessels was mentioned and it was stressed that a nine year old container vessel was scrapped.
Mention was also made to the collapse of Hanjin Shipping and the necessary market’s recovery period. Container rates have shown an increase during the last months and hence the market looks promising.
The final discussion looked at “Drilling Forward” moderated by Sony Kapoor, Managing Director of “Re Define” – Institute for New Economic Thinking.
The panel included Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis, George Papanastasiou, Managing Director of VTT Vasiliko Ltd and Elfride Covarrubias, Business Development Manager for Italy and Mediterranean Area of DNV GL.
The panelists analysed the potential of the hydrocarbon discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean, as well as the geopolitical aspects. Large discoveries in the region and the prospect of substantial hydrocarbon resources have sparked major international interest.
The eastern Mediterranean remains one
of the world’s most under-explored areas. These discoveries offer major opportunities in terms of energy security, economic prosperity and regional cooperation. It was stressed that the exploitation and export of these resources present numerous technical, administrative, security, legal and political challenges.
Therefore, these resources should be developed for the benefit of all the countries in the region in order to avoid causing any unnecessary disputes to the already volatile eastern Mediterranean.