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Derivatives push Western Bulk into the black

Derivatives push Western Bulk into the black
Western Bulk has reported a $5.5m profit for the first quarter, as positive results from its derivatives and financial assets pushed it into the black.

Adjusted for the unrealised fair value changes on FFA, bunker and foreign exchange derivatives, the company's result was a $6.2m loss.

Western Bulk Chartering's net time charter result was $9.9m for the quarter, or $685 per ship day. This compares to a negative of $5.4m in the preceding quarter at negative $323m per day.

The Baltic Supramax Index (BSI) dropped 27% during the first quarter, ending at $6,800 per day. Seaborne coal volumes were down 14% compared to Q1 2014, driven by a 42% drop in Chinese imports between the same periods.

Since the end of Q1, Western Bulk announced it would be closing its panamax business unit later this year, once existing contracts have been fulfilled. Nine employees will be made redundant, a cost that will be recorded in its second quarter results.

At the end of the quarter, Western Bulk Chartering had 113% contract coverage for its firm vessel days for the coming three quarters, and an expectation of 150-160 vessels for the second quarter at similar net time charter margins to Q1.

Looking ahead, Western Bulk expects rates to remain low for the rest of 2015. The company will focus on short-term charters for the Western Bulk Shipholding fleet, which it expects will return a greater loss in the second quarter.