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Hedging gains hide losses at Western Bulk

Hedging gains hide losses at Western Bulk
Western Bulk has reported a $10.4m profit for the second quarter, but a $7.4m loss when adjusted for unrealised gains on FFAs, and hedging of currency and bunkers.

In total a $17.8m gain was booked on derivatives, as the instruments reverse the significant losses they inflicted on results in 2014.

A strengthening of WB Chartering's net time charter result by $2.9m offset a $1.5m weakening of WB shipholding's net TC result, which the shipowner reported despite achieving rates 27% above average spot rates in the second quarter.

The group's performance was at a high when compared with the state of the market, but rates and demand failed to meet charter-in costs.

Coal imports into China increased by 4.5% between Q1 and Q2, but a comparison of the first half of 2015 and 2014 shows a 38% reduction in volumes.

Job cuts and hedging of NOK-based administrative expenses are expected to save the group $7.5m in 2016, part of a drive to improve efficiency.

In its outlook the company stated that it expects freight rates to remain low for the rest of the year, but slightly improved on the first half of 2015. For the third quarter, it expects worse TC results for both WB Shipholding and WB Chartering.