The positive development in 2017 continued in the first half of 2018 with the Group posting a profit after tax of USD 3.6 million, a strong improvement from the USD -2,1 million loss from the same period in 2017 and close to the full year 2017 profit after tax of USD 4.3 million.
Net TC reached USD 21.3 million (USD 805 per ship day) in the first six months of 2018 compared to USD 15.1 million in the same period last year (USD 585 per ship day). Activity increased throughout the period from 130 ships in December 2017 to 164 ships in June 2018, and the Group operated an average of 146 ships.
"I am very pleased with the continued good performance of the Group underlining our ability to extract a margin from our unique business model” says Jens Ismar, Chief Executive Officer of Western Bulk Chartering.
The dry bulk market in general is expected to continue its gradual improvement supported by marginal demand growth in excess of supply. So far this year coal has been the main driver for growth but going forward iron ore is likely to give support to the dry market. The impending trade dispute between the US and China may lead to increased infrastructure spending, driving demand for steel and iron ore. This will primarily support the larger vessels. For the smaller vessels more dependent on other commodities the outlook is positive but more uncertain. The trade dispute might negatively impact the US grain export but can also lead to increased demand pending how trade routes develop.