Norway’s Gersemi Asset Management has been reducing its shipping fund’s investment in bulker and LPG carrier owners as it maintains a focus on the Red Sea crisis.

Led by principal Joakim Hannisdahl, the investment company said January had been another month where geopolitical tensions in the Middle East had to be monitored.

Gersemi described continued disruptions to Suez Canal transits as the major issue in shipping markets.

According to the company’s vessel tracking data, these crossings are currently down around 39% year on year.

Car carriers and container ships have been the main beneficiaries, with transits down about 60% year on year for both segments.

“The situation is highly volatile and our approach has been a stringent focus on risk management and a carefully chosen net exposure, currently at 18%,” Gersemi said.

“We have shorted dry bulk and VLGCs while being long [on] product tankers, smaller crude tankers and, intermittently, containers,” the company added.

Gersemi also explained it had been “light-footed and secured trading gains” amid a quickly evolving situation.

The shipping fund has 35% of its portfolio allocated to tankers and 47% in cash, with 13% in LPG shipping and 5% in dry bulk.

VLGC rates crashed from record highs of $170,000 per day in September to $6,400 earlier this month, before recovering to $26,200 on Thursday, as US to Asia trading opportunities dried up.

Joakim Hannisdahl himself has pointed out that the low point was less than vessel operating expenses for shipowners.

Gersemi’s shipping fund posted its seventh consecutive month of positive returns in January.

It has yet to experience a negative month since its inception in early July 2023.

The fund increased in value by 4.2% from December.

It has a 46% compound annual growth rate.