BIMCO to offer insight on coronavirus impact on shipping markets


Amid massive market uncertainty, BIMCO has analysed the potential implications of a pandemic for the commercial shipping markets and Chief Shipping Analyst, Peter Sand, will deliver the insights in a string of webinars in the coming weeks. 

The webinars will update members and the wider shipping industry on current issues that are constantly changing and changing fast: The impact of the coronavirus and the oil price war.

The coronavirus was declared a pandemic on 11 March 2020 and represents a humanitarian crisis. As countries around the world rush to implement containment measures, it seems unavoidable that the global economy will suffer a substantial blow and the shipping markets will not be far behind.

Windward webinar – “Protecting Maritime Borders from COVID-19”

Join Peter Sand on the free Windward webinar on 24 March 2020, when he will outline how the coronavirus is impacting the commercial shipping markets. The webinar will explore whether it is possible to limit the spread of the while preserving economic growth. The webinar will also explore the strategic and tactical measures that can be used to control the flow of people through maritime borders and what role technology plays in all this. Sand features alongside Guy Platten, Secretary General of The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), James Valentine, Retired Commander of the United States Coast Guard and Jason Greenblatt, former assistant to US President, Donald Trump, and Special Envoy to the Middle East.

The webinar kicks off at 2.00PM GMT on 24 March 2020.

Sign up here.

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst briefing – “Navigating uncharted waters in shipping”

Sand will also feature on the Bloomberg Intelligence analyst briefing webinar, where he will present BIMCO’s view on the shipping markets and the impact of the coronavirus, as well as the impact on the tanker shipping market given the current oil price war. Sand is joined by Bloomberg Intelligence’s Lee Klaskow, Senior Freight Transportation and Logistics Analyst.

The webinar takes place on 25 March 2020 at 3:00PM CET.

Sign up here.

Capital Link – “The roaring twenties”

Peter Sand will keep the updates rolling and present his insight at Capital Link’s digital conference on 30-31 March 2020. Once again, the focus will be on the most recent implications of the coronavirus on the global shipping industry. Sand will provide the audience with short- and medium-term scenarios, as well as the outlook for the full year and beyond. The presentation is an integrated part of Capital Link’s “The roaring twenties” conference, which aims to tackle the four D’s: Disruption, Digitalization, Decarbonization and A New Decade.

Sand will present on 31 March 2020 at 8:10-8:30AM Eastern Time.

Sign up here.

The coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc

The commercial shipping markets thrive on global economic growth and the outbreak of the coronavirus is set to adversely affect demand for maritime transportation. Container carriers have already blanked an astonishing amount of sailings, which has led to a record-breaking 2.46 million idle TEU on 3 March 2020. The quarantines in advanced economies, set to weaken consumer sentiment and spending, represent a massive challenge for shipping, and liner companies will certainly be stress-tested in the coming months.

Dry bulk shipping took an initial blow as China quarantined large parts of the country in February. Yet, the market, excluding the Capesize segment, has started to climb towards profitable earnings and as China gets back on its feet, Capesize earnings could also join in on an upwards trajectory. Nonetheless, the exponential spread of the virus in the rest of world is skewing risk toward the downside.

In contrast, the oil tanker market is once again reaping the benefits of geopolitics. Freight rates have soared since the OPEC+ negotiations fell through on 6 March, but as the saying goes: “what goes up must come down” and the Saudi Arabian pledge to flood the market in crude oil is not likely to last forever. The coronavirus is destroying demand for liquid fuels, which makes the oil tanker medium-term outlook more lackluster than previously.

Aside from skyrocketing crude oil tanker freight rates, the oil price war has sent bunker prices plummeting and the average VLSFO-HSFO spread in Singapore, Rotterdam and Fujairah now sits at just USD 73 per metric tonne (MT) on 19 March 2020. The lower bunker prices ease the burden of compliance with the IMO 2020 Sulphur Cap regulation, which has already put a strain on earnings for Q1.

BIMCO – “Perspectives and insights on shipping amidst a pandemic”

BIMCO will host its own webinar, featuring relevant industry speakers, about the impact of the coronavirus on the commercial shipping markets on 14 April 2020. Stay tuned for more information.

For additional information about BIMCO’s perspective on the coronavirus, make sure to join in on the webinars and read BIMCO’s new coronavirus analysis and revision to the 2020 forecast.


Peter Sand
in Copenhagen, DK


Access BIMCO's COVID-19 related articles and advice.

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