Shipping Companies and the Japan Effect


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An eternal optimist, Liu-Yue built two social enterprises to help make the world a better place. Liu-Yue co-founded Oxstones Investment Club a searchable content platform and business tools for knowledge sharing and financial education. also provides investors with direct access to U.S. commercial real estate opportunities and other alternative investments. In addition, Liu-Yue also co-founded Cute Brands a cause-oriented character brand management and brand licensing company that creates social awareness on global issues and societal challenges through character creations. Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Liu-Yue worked as an Executive Associate at M&T Bank in the Structured Real Estate Finance Group where he worked with senior management on multiple bank-wide risk management projects. He also had a dual role as a commercial banker advising UHNWIs and family offices on investments, credit, and banking needs while focused on residential CRE, infrastructure development, and affordable housing projects. Prior to M&T, he held a number of positions in Latin American equities and bonds investment groups at SBC Warburg Dillon Read (Swiss Bank), OFFITBANK (the wealth management division of Wachovia Bank), and in small cap equities at Steinberg Priest Capital Management (family office). Liu-Yue has an MBA specializing in investment management and strategy from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Marketing from Stern School of Business at NYU. He also completed graduate studies in international management at the University of Oxford, Trinity College.

By Paul Ausick, 247WallSt site,

As Japan recovers from the devastating earthquake and its aftermath, the country will depend heavily on importing raw materials into the country and exporting finished goods. There are a number of publicly traded shipping companies that could see a bump in revenues as transport to and from Japan picks up.

One type of shipper that could benefit fairly quickly is dry bulk, the massive carriers that haul coal, iron ore, and other raw materials. The carriers include DryShips, Inc. (NASDAQ: DRYS), Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE: DSX), and Genco Shipping & Trade Ltd. (NYSE: GNK). The Baltic Dry Index, BDI, is recovering slightly from a very low 1,064. As coal is required in Japan to generate electricity no longer available from the damaged nuclear reactors, dry bulk rates from Australia and from the west coast of the US could rise. The rises will be limited by the amount of coal Japan requires and the amount that dry bulk terminals can handle. Terminals and coal shippers on the east coast of the US could also benefit as coal cargoes bound for Europe could be diverted to Japan and additional ships put into service.

Container shippers like A.P. Moeller Maersk (OTC: AMKBF), Danaos Corp.(NYSE: DAC), and Seaspan Corp. (NYSE: SSW) could see a slight slowdown in shipping until Japanese manufacturers get back to work. That process will probably be slower than anticipated.

Crude oil carriers like Frontline Ltd. (NYSE: FRO) and Nordic American Tanker Shipping Ltd. (NYSE: NAT) should see a pick-up as more crude cargoes are sent to Japan to help fuel electricity generation plants. Demand will be a function of how quickly Japan’s refineries can come back on-line, and the length of time the Japanese must depend on crude oil to fuel their generators. Another possibility is that refined products would need to be imported if re-opening the refineries is delayed for long.

Japan’s crude stocks stood at 169 days at the end of December 2010, according to The country won’t want to run down its stocks and have to replenish them at higher crude prices, but by judiciously calling on its stocks, the country could mitigate some of the expenses from buying and shipping additional supplies of crude.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers include Teekay Corp. (NYSE: TK), Teekay LNG Partners, L.P. (NYSE: TGP), and Golar LNG Ltd. (NASDAQ: GLNG). Japan is already the world’s largest importer of LNG and it is reasonable to expect the country to receive more in the days ahead. In the longer term, it could be that Japan decides to replace at least some of its nuclear generation with gas-fired generation. But that decision is still months away in all likelihood.

The lightly traded Guggenheim Shipping ETF (NYSE: SEA) is up nearly 2% today, and Teekay LNG Partners and Golar are both up about the same amount. Most of the other shippers are trading slightly up as well, with only Dry Ships down slightly.


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