Outlook for India’s Seaborne Dry Bulk Trade
The Hinode’s 2nd Conference on “Outlook for India’s Seaborne Dry Bulk Trade” held at the Hotel Vivanta by Taj President saw a significant gathering of shipowners, charterers, agents, ship managers, exporters, importers, bankers, legal experts and those in other allied fields. Though the bulk trade worldwide has been at an ebb the conference was seen as an opportunity to network and gather views that could help place participants in a stronger position once the turnaround takes place.
According to T. V. Shanbhag, Ex Chief Commissioner of Chartering, Government of India the trade is likely to see a sea-change soon. He felt there is plenty of scope if one develops non-traditional items besides the government has also been doing its best to give boost to the economy.
As for the “Demand Outlook Projections for the Major Bulk”, Hanoz Mistry, Director of Five Stars Chartering Pvt Ltd.,” The growth was asymmetrical and below expected level. Non Euro nations’ economy showed acceleration. Various factors that were affecting the trade was ‘Oil Prices Falling’, ‘The trouble in Middle East and Eastern Europe’ and most ‘BRICS countries currency continue to struggle against USD’. He informed that Global growth was projected at about 3.8%. Canada’s economy has rebounded and is expected to grow. Oil importing countries were expected to do well due to drop in oil prices. The combination of fiscal, structural and monetary policy was required to boost growth in Europe. The growth in India is likely to be about 5.5% to 6%, owing to exports and reforms.
Certain commodities can play a vital role for boosting the trade. The “Importance of Fertilizers in India’s International trade is very significant considering that agriculture plays an important role in India’s economy. This was admirably brought out by Capt. A Saran, Director, Ray Shipping Pvt Ltd in his presentation. Another major commodity was is steel. Capt Sanjeev Buckshee, CEO of SIVA Bulk took the audience through “Steel Cargo Journey and touched upon the effect of Force Majeure clauses in contract. Speaking on a different tone Capt Dhananjay Parulekar, gave an in-depth account in his topic “Steel Cargo Journey (Past, Present & Future) and its stowage precautions for sea transport.”
Bringing the participants up to date on the legal side, Kaushik Sochannam, Advocate from Sochannam Legal in his presentation “Force majeure clauses in contracts” cautioned the players in the field of chartering about the various pitfalls, what are the laws one has recourse to, the various judgments and ruling that have been passed and their significance to the trade. He expertly topped these up with case history.
Christopher Else, Managing Director, the Charterers P & I Club explained about the important aspect about “Risk Management from charterer's points of view and
safeguards to be taken care of”, He made the Club aware about the vulnerability of the charterers and the heavy responsibility they bore despite the facing they often find themselves in a position wherein they hardly have any control over the situation. He outlined the number of case studies to highlight these factors.
This presentation was followed by that of S. B. Patel, Director of Immaculate Consultancy and Services P. Ltd. He explained different methods that could be resourcefully be employed for “Risk Management for Cargo and Carriage of Cargo”. He explained that international trade is essential to the economy of the world. Shipping and insurance form key parts of the supply chain allowing producers to transport to consumers while mitigating the risk of doing so. In an increasingly complicated and legally focused environment a clear understanding of shipping and trade risks is essential.
A very practical approach to “Handle shipboard coal fires and losses thereof” was described by Capt Kapil Dev Bhal, Director of Murray Fenton India. He gave details about some of the cases he handled and some cases that hit the headlines. He dwelt on the crux of the causes of the accidents how they could have been prevented, what are the regulations expect of the mariners and shipowners/charterers. He also explained the measures that could be taken to curtail losses and haw to recover the losses.
There was also a presentation on “Outlook for the Minor Bulks” made by Mr Neeraj Sisodia, Analyst, Ocean Intelligence who brought to the notice of the delegates the various other commodities that could play a significant part in the bulk trade.
The conference ended with Capt Chander Vart, Director, Edin Maritime Limited giving an account about his experience in the Anchoring in the Gulf of Khambat which is a challenges to masters. He gave an account of how he lost two anchors and his unique experience of discharging cargo without anchoring.