Oslo shipping investors are primed to cash in on tight markets almost across the board, after a round of encouraging takes from the industry and finance analysts of Norwegian finance and shipping broking house Astrup Fearnley.
Broker Fearnleys and sister companies including Fearnley Securities, Fearnley Offshore and Fearnley Offshore Supply drew a packed house for the group’s recent shipping and energy conference.
Fearnley Securities chief executive Peter Wessel believes the sector-specific takes from his research colleagues will have an influence felt beyond Norway.
“The natural cycle of shipping and other cyclical investments often starts with Norwegian family offices and goes to institutional and other investors in Europe and then across the Atlantic,” he told TradeWinds after a well-attended cross-sector survey.
Closest to home, the North Sea offshore market is likely to break records thanks to short supply, said Fearnley Offshore Supply analyst Jesper Skjong.
“There’s simply not enough anchor-handlers,” he said.
Anchor-handling tug supply ships could hit £120,000 ($148,000) and NOK 2.5m ($253,300) per day this summer, and platform supply vessels could peak at £30,000 and NOK 500,000.
“There’s a bull market for years to come,” said Fearnley Securities head of research Truls Olsen.
The LNG market, with a current orderbook of 269 ships, including 170 ordered just in 2022, is set for medium-term struggles as deliveries in 2024 and 2025 do not match up well with liquefaction capacity coming on stream a year or two later. But Fearnleys LNG expert Ina Arneson looks to fleet obsolescence to cut supply.
In VLGCs, where the orderbook is 15% of the existing fleet and 48 ships of ever-increasing size are set to hit the water just in 2023, the outlook is better. Fearnleys analyst Mia Groeng sees just a dip next year, with the market supported by Panama Canal congestion as well as scrapping.
In the tanker market, Fearnleys adviser Jonathan Staubo told attendees to expect a multi-year upcycle, with some weakness early this year but a positive longer-term outlook for owners as the orderbook peters out.
Even in the hard-hit dry bulk market, which will continue to suffer through the first half of this year, Fearnleys analyst Bernhard Baardson saw the bottoming-out coming earlier than previously expected, with a prolonged upturn starting perhaps as early as the third quarter, again based on a limited orderbook.
Astrup Fearnley with its top-floor gourmet canteen is well installed now in Oslo’s “Barcode” high-rise waterfront, where cultural and high-end commercial has recently replaced wharfage, and local shipping expertise now has a convenient short walk to the opera house, the Edvard Munch museum and year-round waterfront saunas.