Sagitta Marine forecasts volatility and opportunity for small bulker sector xinde marine news 2024-03-26 09:04

Thomas Zaidman, Managing Director, Sagitta Marine

Sagitta Marine Managing Director Thomas Zaidman thinks the Handysize and Supramax segments could see positive fortunes for the balance of 2024 thanks to firm demand and lingering market risks.
He told the recent Marine Money Panama conference that in the smaller ship space this year he expects to see “volatility due to political risk, together with several pockets of climate and political congestion creating tightness that could bring prices up.”
Despite the risks of congestion and delays at the Panama Canal forecast to ease slightly, Zaidman observed “that doesn’t mean the canal will be back to normal” any time soon. 
Weather and political routeing changes can create opportunity for vessel operators and it’s something the company watches carefully but he cautioned against a one-size fits all strategy. “You can be on the right side of weather-related volatility but it’s not a safe bet; it will be a complicating factor in the next few years,” he added.
Political risk is a further issue; with diversions continuing from the Red Sea adding tonne-miles and emissions to voyages and no end to the fall-out from the conflict in Ukraine.
Both situations are resulting in a tightening of global sanctions regimes, a situation he suggested is “an almost impossible sea to navigate; there can be unknown consequences where you didn’t know a counterparty was sanctioned but you are still liable.” 
The result is ‘self-sanctioning’, where the company undertakes extra screening work avoids any trade that might be connected to sanctioned companies.
He told the conference that Sagitta had grown from carrying 250,000 tonnes in its first year of operations to moving 2.7m tonnes of cargo in 2023. Though originally intending to own ships, he and co-founder Ricardo Azpurua found more lender support for the operator model. 
The company began with a regional focus but this has shifted as it has grown. “Culturally our customers tend to have a regional focus but with 12 to 18 ships in the fleet we can be anywhere in the world, so we aspire to be a global player,” he said. 
“Being an owner is something we aspire to be eventually but it has to happen in steps; we are building global coverage with milestones; there is a lot of space for the owner/operator model that enables you to run risk exposure in a healthy way,” he concluded.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Xinde Marine News.

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