Dry Bulk Shipping Rates to Fall Even Lower in 2012 (DRYS, NM, DSX, EGLE, EXM)

Paul Ausick

The average day rate in 2012 for a capesize ore carrier — the largest in the world’s fleet — is expected to be about $15,000. That’s down from an average of about $15,640 in 2011 and more than $33,000 in 2009. In 2008, day rates topped $200,000 for a time.

The low rates have pushed down shares in dry bulk shippers like DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ: DRYS), Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. (NYSE: NM), Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE: DSX), Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (NASDAQ: EGLE), and Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd.(NYSE: EXM), which are down between -37% and -82% for the past year.

Ships ordered during the 2008 heyday are being delivered now, even as iron ore cargoes are also declining. Iron ore shipments are expected to grow by 2.5% in 2012, while shipping capacity will grow nearly 10%.

Until the global economy picks up, shipping companies face a grim future.