Next year promises to provide some breathing space for bulker owners as the dry bulk fleet is likely to grow at the slowest pace seen since 1999, according to BIMCO, which expects global demand to outstrip supply growth in 2018.“As the dry bulk fleet is already expected to grow at a pace that matches demand growth expected in 2019, the focus must be on improving the fundamental balance ahead of that,” BIMCO said.China’s imports, particularly of coal and iron ore, grew tremendously in 2017, and the second half of the year has been profitable for several bulk owners and operators. If 2018 delivers similar demand growth (+5 pct), the bulk industry will see profitable business for the full year.“But, be aware that 2018 may not be quite as strong as 2017, and profits may not come around until 2019, if the ongoing recovery is not handled with care,” BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst Peter Sand cautions.As stressed, the level of growth in the fleet and the extent of demolition of excess capacity are key factors in the 2018 market.“Unfortunately, we see weakening demolition activity, and the bulk fleet keeps growing, which can hinder market recovery. As the nominal fleet growth in 2018 is expected around 1 pct, the focus now turns to maintaining slow steaming. If we get notably higher average ship speed the pace of recovery will slow down, if not go directly into reverse,” Sand says.“The industry has got its work cut out to avoid a prolonged dip in freight rates during the first half of 2018 as volumes seasonally decline,” he added.Market recoveryDuring the third quarter of 2017, freight rates turned profitable for all sizes of dry bulk ships. Namely, ships deployed in the spot market have been fixed at a level covering operational expenditure, and financing costs include repayment of debt.It is the first time since 2012 that it has happened at industry average level, BIMCO noted.At the start of 2017, there was only a slim improvement in the market (0.2 percentage points) as the demand growth rate (+2.2 pct) was forecasted to outstrip the fleet growth rate (+2 pct) by a small margin, data from the association shows.BIMCO now forecasts 2017 will reach a demand growth rate as high as 5 pct and a fleet growth of 3 pct, improving the fundamental market balance by two percentage points.
Small schools, Gaelscoileanna and minority faith schools in Co Donegal are still facing significant cuts to staffing levels and the possibility of closure, despite a “PR announcement” from the Education Minister Ruairí Quinn this week, it has been claimed.Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Charlie McConalogue has said the Minister is trying to give the impression that he has rowed back on cuts small schools when he has not.“Minister Quinn announced that small schools facing cuts can appeal these cuts if they can prove their pupil number will rise significantly over the coming years. This is nothing more an attempt to take the heat out of the controversy over this unpopular budget measure. In reality, it will make very little difference to small schools in Co Donegal that are set to lose their teachers,” said the Donegal North East Deputy. “While it is welcome that staffing levels will be based on pupil numbers as of September 2012 instead of September 2011, it will be extremely difficult for many schools to prove they will have significant increases in pupil numbers of the next number of years. Without this proof, at best they will loss staff and class sizes will increase, while at worst they face forced amalgamation and closure.”He said more than half of all primary schools in Co Donegal are still facing increases to the pupil-teacher ratio, which for many will mean losing teachers this year or in the coming years.“Donegal is particularly badly hit, as we have a higher number of small schools in rural communities, gaelscoileanna and Church of Ireland schools facing a disproportionate level of cuts. The reality is that any school with less than 5 teachers is still in the firing line. Schools will now need 53 pupils on their roll in September 2012 to retain three teachers – an increase on the current figure of 49.“This is not over. There is no doubt that this will still lead to forced amalgamations and some communities in Donegal losing their local school, and I know that parents and teachers in Co Donegal will not take it lying down,” said Deputy McConalogue. DONEGAL GAELSCOILEANNA, PROTESTANT SCHOOLS STILL FACING CUTS, SAYS TD was last modified: February 23rd, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DONEGAL GAELSCOILEANNAPROTESTANT SCHOOLS STILL FACING CUTSSAYS TD