Thoresen Shipping has become the latest bulker owner to post record profits on the back of the strong bulker markets. The Thai-backed shipowner said its third quarter result of THB 1.77bn ($54m) was the “best ever profit in more than a decade”. Thoresen said freight revenues came in at THB 3.49bn in the third quarter, which was up 30% quarter-on-quarter and up over 200% year-on-year.

Supramax freight rates averaged $34,269 per day in the third quarter, supported by a limited fleet growth and demand growth of coal and minor bulks following the world economic recovery, as well as the ongoing port congestion due to Covid-19 control measures,” the shipowner said.

Thoresen said its time charter equivalent (TCE) rate rose 85% quarter-on-quarter and 196% year-on-year to $33,842 per day and outperformed the net market rate of US32,556 per day by 4%. Owned fleet utilisation rate remained high at 100%, with the highest TCE rate of $53,160 per day, while vessel operating expenses were down 7% quarter-on-quarter to $3,861 per day.

“We are pleased with the strong operational and financial results delivered in the third quarter,” said Chalermchai Mahagitsiri, chief executive of parent company Thoresen Thai Agencies. “Shipping’s time charter equivalent rate outperformed the net market rate, with gains from both owned and chartered-in vessels.”

Thoresen said dry bulk trade is forecast to grow by 4.1% in tons or by 4.8% in ton-miles for the full year 2021, driven by the recovery of coal and minor bulks, and dry bulk trade growth of 2.4% in ton-miles for the next year.

On the supply side, it said the order book stands at a record low of 6% of fleet capacity in 30 years, with fleet expansion is currently projected to slow to 3.5% in deadweight tonnage for the full year 2021 and 1.5% in 2022. However, it warned that the strength in freight rates is likely to ease with “improved port operation once Covid-19 vaccines are thoroughly distributed worldwide”.

At quarter-end, Thoresen owned 24 vessels – 22 supramaxes and two ultramaxes – with an average size of 55,913-dwt and an average age of 13.5 years.