ship in port


A number of months in the past, I wrote a cautious article on Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (NASDAQ:SBLK), arguing that the delivery cycle has turned and that ahead earnings and dividend yield will likely be decrease.

Up to now, my thesis is proving right, as SBLK reported decrease YoY revenues and earnings. Importantly, its contracted delivery charges proceed to say no, which may have a damaging affect on future earnings and dividends.

Wanting forward, China demand for bulk commodities stays weak on account of zero-COVID insurance policies. That isn’t anticipated to vary earlier than March. In further, we now have a looming world recession, which is able to negatively affect world financial progress. Bulk delivery may be very economically delicate, so the outlook for delivery charges and SBLK shouldn’t be wanting vivid for the time being. I might avoid dry bulk delivery corporations till the worldwide financial outlook improves.

Newest Quarterly Earnings Confirming My Thesis

My cautious view on Star Bulk Carriers is centered round my understanding of delivery cycles. Traditionally, as soon as the Baltic Dry Index (“BDI”) peaks, momentum in delivery shares drop rapidly, regardless of reported delivery charges staying elevated for just a few extra months to quarters.

In my prior article, I warned:

Nonetheless, we should observe that delivery charges have since normalized, with the BDI falling to 965 lately. What this implies is that within the coming quarters, we must always count on Star Bulk’s revenues and earnings to normalize as effectively.

Though SBLK reported in its latest quarterly that 61% of the upcoming Q3 has been coated at a Time-charter equal (“TCE”) ~$29,000/day, we see spot charges are presently far beneath that stage.

Certain sufficient, the newest quarterly report was a disappointment for the bulls, as SBLK reported a every day TCE fee of solely $24,365 within the third quarter vs. the $29,000 determine they quoted within the August earnings report (Determine 1).

SBLK Q3/2022 Financial Summary

Determine 1 – SBLK Q3/2022 Monetary Abstract (SBLK Q3/2022 Press Launch)

Total, SBLK reported revenues of $364 million, a 12.4% YoY decline, and web revenue of $109.7 million, a 50.2% YoY decline.

Though the corporate declared a $1.20 / share dividend (24% annualized fee), the inventory has declined by 36% prior to now 6 months, greater than offsetting any dividends declared and paid (Determine 2).

SBLK has lost 36% in price in last 6 months

Determine 2 – SBLK has misplaced 36% in inventory worth in final 6 months (Searching for Alpha)

Spot Charges Proceed To Level Down

Wanting ahead, the corporate notes that it has coated ~66% of its obtainable days at a TCE of $22,772 / day per vessel. Nonetheless, with spot charges considerably decrease than the corporate’s $22,800 determine, I believe the upcoming fourth quarter will likely be a repeat of the newest quarter, with precise TCE charges coming in effectively beneath the $22,800 stage the corporate has ‘coated’ (Determine 3).

Spot shipping rates

Determine 3 – Spot delivery charges (

Baltic Dry Index Rolling Over

In September, we noticed many bulls promote their favorite delivery tales, because the BDI rallied from oversold ranges. Nonetheless, in latest weeks, the BDI has begun to roll over, lately buying and selling at ~1,200. What’s going on?

BDI rolls over

Determine 4 – BDI rolls over (

China Continues To Be Weak

Recall, I wrote beforehand that dry bulk delivery charges are very depending on the Chinese language financial system, as it’s the largest shopper of many bulk commodities like iron ore, coal, and grains.

Regardless of market enthusiasm for China reopening rumours, the fact is that China’s covid instances have been spiking in latest days and are near record highs (Determine 5).

China covid cases

Determine 5 – China covid instances (Our World In Information)

Whereas inevitable modifications are coming to China’s covid insurance policies (China can not keep shut endlessly), traders want to grasp that the design and implementation of recent insurance policies could take many months. In actual fact, the unique social media screenshot which sparked the newest Chinese language inventory rally recommended officers had been drafting a reopening plan for March of 2023, after the vital Jan/Feb lunar new 12 months festivities, when a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of Chinese language residents are anticipated to journey to their hometowns to go to relations.

Within the meantime, we proceed to have lockdowns and mobility restrictions, which negatively affect China’s moribund actual property sector, curtailing demand for seaborne bulk commodities.

International Recession In 2023?

Along with weak demand out of China, latest financial indicators are flashing purple on a possible world recession for 2023, sparked by central banks’ rate of interest will increase this 12 months to fight inflation.

The 3M-10Yr yield curve, which has traditionally been main indicator for recessions, have been probably the most damaging in years (Determine 6).

Inverted yield curve signals recession

Determine 6 – Inverted yield curve alerts recession (Axios)

The Conference Board additionally launched their recession chance just a few weeks in the past highlighting a 96% chance of a U.S. recession within the subsequent twelve months. The final 6 occasions this indicator acquired above 90%, a recession shortly adopted (Determine 7).

Recession probability

Determine 7 – Recession chance at 96% (Convention Board)

Danger To My Name

Clearly, there’s upside threat to my name if China does reopen earlier than anticipated and are in a position to revive their actual property sector, driving renewed demand for bulk commodities. Additionally, if the worldwide financial system is ready to obtain a gentle touchdown, then demand for bulk commodities might rebound in 2023, spurring increased delivery charges.


With weak Chinese language demand for bulk commodities and a possible recession looming for 2023, it’s no surprise that the Baltic Dry Index has rolled over in latest weeks. Bulk delivery may be very economically delicate, so the outlook for delivery charges and SBLK shouldn’t be wanting vivid for the time being. I might avoid dry bulk delivery corporations till the worldwide financial outlook improves.

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