Western Bulk says despite a very volatile market, it has continued its high trading performance, harvesting rewards from investments in operational improvement, excellence in execution and data driven decision making.
A net profit after tax of USD 66.0 million for 2022 represents the second-best full year result in the company’s history, only outperformed by last year’s net profit after tax of USD 81.0 million for 2021.
Western Bulk had an extraordinary good start to 2022 as the high market volatility seen in 2021 continued into 2022. With focus on trading the short-term market, the company managed to utilize this both in respect of total market levels and relative levels between the Atlantic and Pacific basins. High market volatility creates temporary mispricing between regions, vessel sizes and cargoes which the company can utilize through its agile approach.
Entering the second half of 2022, Supramax market rates declined continuously over the six-month period. Through good craftsmanship Western Bulk managed to utilize the market decline by covering cargo commitments with vessels at lower rates. In particular spot arbitrage trading did well, as decision-making has been improved using data.
The market came down further at the start of 2023 as part of the seasonal slowdown during the Chinese New Year holidays. Since then it has increased, driven by improved economic prospects in China and Southeast Asia. So far the first quarter has provided rather limited returns for Western Bulk while the increased market rates and volatility is expected to contribute to improved earnings for the remainder of the year.