NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 10/12/12 -- After an impressive start to the year shipping stocks have struggled as concerns regarding slowing economies in China and Europe have seen iron ore and coal shipments fall. The Guggenheim Shipping ETF (SEA) has fallen 15 percent in the last 6 months, after surging 25 percent in the first quarter. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Shipping Industry and provides equity research on Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE: DSX) and Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. (NYSE: EXM).
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The Baltic Dry Index (BDI), a measure of costs to ship dry-bulk commodities such as grain, coal and iron ore, has fallen by 50 percent this year. The BDI recently posted its worst quarter in 14 years as oversupply and weak demand has continued to plague the industry. According to data collected by Bloomberg from the Baltic Exchange, during the third quarter the index's average reading of 848 was the lowest since the third quarter of 1998.
Numbers from the world's largest shipbroker, Clarkson PLC, have shown that the largest fleet ever is competing for business in the current period, despite slowing demand from China.
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Diana Shipping's vessels are employed primarily on medium to long-term time charters and transport a range of dry bulk cargoes, including such commodities as iron ore, coal, grain and other materials along worldwide shipping routes. The company recently announced it has agreed to acquire a newly-built Post-Panamax dry bulk carrier for a purchase price of US$24.6 million.
Excel is an owner and operator of dry bulk carriers and a provider of worldwide seaborne transportation services for dry bulk cargoes, such as iron ore, coal and grains, as well as bauxite, fertilizers and steel products. The company on October 1, 2012, exercised its option to defer an installment of $24.3mn due on that date.
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