Superstar Bulk Carriers: Baltic Dry Index Says Delivery Cycle Over

Miro Nenchev

With the Baltic Dry Index buying and selling at normalized ranges ~1,000, it’s transparent the delivery cycle has grew to become. Ahead revenues and income for Superstar Bulk Carriers Corp. (NASDAQ:SBLK) will likely be a lot not up to the previous few quarters. Buyers will have to keep transparent from dry bulk shippers like SBLK till there may be every other catalyst to squeeze delivery charges upper.

Corporate Evaluate

Superstar Bulk Carriers Corp is among the biggest dry bulk delivery corporations on this planet with a fleet of 128 bulk carriers. The typical send age of SBLK’s fleet is ~10 years. SBLK has one of the crucial lowest working prices within the {industry}, which is helping maximizes margins (Determine 1).

low opex

Determine 1 – SBLK has one of the crucial {industry}’s lowest OPEX (SBLK Investor Presentation)

Bonanza Profits From Provide Chain Disruptions

For the reason that restoration from the COVID-19 pandemic, the worldwide dry-bulk delivery fleet has loved bonanza income, as supply-chain constraints have intended port delays and higher time at the water for carriers.

The Baltic Dry Index (“BDI”), a measure of dry bulk delivery charges, bottomed at 393 within the rapid aftermath of the pandemic and reached as top as 5,650 in overdue 2021, the perfect stage since 2008 (Determine 2).

baltic dry index

Determine 2 – Baltic Dry Index (

This upward push in delivery charges resulted in implausible revenues and income for dry bulk carriers like SBLK. Revenues grew 106% YoY in 2021 to $1.4 billion, the perfect stage ever for the corporate, and income in step with proportion had been $6.71/proportion in 2021 (Determine 3).

summary financials

Determine 3 – SBLK abstract financials. (

Sturdy income endured into 2022, as many time charters entered into on the finish of 2021 had been at increased delivery charges.

Delivery Charges Normalizing; Do not Be expecting Bonanza To Proceed

Then again, we will have to word that delivery charges have since normalized, with the BDI falling to 965 lately. What this implies is that within the coming quarters, we will have to be expecting Superstar Bulk’s revenues and income to normalize as neatly.

Even if SBLK reported in its newest quarterly that 61% of the impending Q3 has been lined at a Time-charter similar (“TCE”) ~$29,000/day, we see spot charges are lately some distance underneath that stage (Determine 4).

Recent TCE rates

Determine 4 – Contemporary TCE constitution charges, Sept 7, 2022 (

Which means that any charters signed lately or within the coming length will likely be at charges some distance underneath the $30,400 TCE charges SBLK reported in Q2 or the ~$29,000 charge that has been ‘lined’ thus far in Q3.

If truth be told, the present stage of BDI ~1,000 is widely very similar to 2019, when SBLK’s TCE charges had been $13,000 for the entire 12 months (starting from $10,600 in Q1/19 to $15,500 in This autumn/19). If the BDI/TCE charges had been to stick at those ranges, SBLK’s revenues and income could be dramatically decrease. Each and every $10,000 in TCE is similar to ~$115 million in quarterly working source of revenue (assuming 11,000 working days and 128 send fleet).

Be aware, $20,000 TCE is a traditionally successful charge for the {industry} and previous to 2021, the remaining time SBLK had completed ~$20,000 in a complete 12 months TCE used to be in 2011, when TCE used to be $19,500. Absent industry-wide catalysts just like the COVID-19 pandemic, there is not any explanation why to be expecting TCE charges to be above $20,000 for a longer time frame.

Use Baltic Dry Index To Time Entries And Exits

I imagine delivery corporations like SBLK are extremely cyclical and are extra appropriate for buying and selling than purchase & hang. Since its checklist in 2005, SBLK has made cumulative web source of revenue of -$217 million, inclusive of the bonanza $681 million in 2021. Over the long term, returns on capital had been deficient.

One of the best ways to industry SBLK is to take a look at the BDI and perceive components that would tighten or loosen delivery charges. When the BDI has plunged and appears unsustainably low (like early 2016 and 2020), traders will have to purchase SBLK for a rebound. When BDI has peaked and rolls over (like 2014 and 2018, 2019), traders will have to promote.

entries and exits

Determine 5 – Use BDI to time entries/exits from SBLK (Writer created with worth chart from

2019 is a superb instance of mini delivery cycle. In Q1/2019, the BDI bottomed within the low 600s and SBLK reported TCE ~$10,600. Then the BDI rallied to over 2,400 by means of early September 2019, and SBLK’s TCE charges higher to $14,700 in Q3/19. This sure momentum in BDI/TCE charges helped spice up the inventory from beneath $4.50 in March 2019 to over $8 by means of September 2019.

Then again, after peaking in September 2019, BDI started to plunge in This autumn/19, final the 12 months sub 1,000. For SBLK, the unfavourable charge have an effect on used to be behind schedule (like they’re lately), as the corporate had signed charters on the upper charges. SBLK TCE charges stayed robust all the way through This autumn/19, with the entire quarter coming in at TCE of $15,500. Then again, SBLK’s inventory worth used to be forward-looking and necessarily made no headway as soon as BDI had peaked.

In a similar fashion, if we learn about the overdue 2013 height in BDI, we see that SBLK’s TCE didn’t height till Q1/2014 at $14,300 TCE. Then again, the inventory worth didn’t advance meaningfully as soon as BDI had peaked. The declines in 2015-2016 had been exacerbated by means of a shipbuilding spree that saved the BDI/delivery charges low for a few years.

Dividends Are Great, However Overall Returns Extra Dependent On Inventory Worth

Bulls will argue that SBLK has paid $6.55/proportion in dividends or a 34% trailing dividend charge. In the event that they hang onto their stocks, they’re going to receives a commission again all their invested capital inside of 3 years. My rebuttal is that three hundred and sixty five days in the past, SBLK used to be buying and selling at $26/proportion, and now it’s $19. What you acquire in dividends, you lose in worth, as soon as the delivery cycle has grew to become.

Delivery Charges Dependent On China

Seriously, dry bulk delivery charges are very dependent at the Chinese language financial system, as China is the sector’s biggest shopper of many dry commodities like iron ore, coal, and grains. The stumbling Chinese language actual property sector has brought about a dramatic slowdown in its metal manufacturing, which has resulted in lowered call for for water-borne iron ore. This factor is compounded by means of China’s zero-COVID insurance policies and a ancient drought that has additional curtailed metal manufacturing, inflicting delivery charges to plunge in 2022.

Till the Chinese language financial system stabilizes (particularly the actual property sector), delivery charges are more likely to keep depressed.


In conclusion, with the Baltic Dry Index buying and selling at extra normalized ranges of ~1,000, it’s transparent the delivery cycle has grew to become and long term income and income from SBLK will likely be considerably not up to the new previous. Buyers will have to keep transparent from dry bulk shippers like SBLK till the following {industry} catalyst that can squeeze delivery charges upper.