IUMI: Sinkende Rohölpreise und ihre Folgen

30.10.2014 – Koeln-AssekuranzSinkende Rohölpreise wirken sich direkt auf globale Transportaktivitäten und das damit verbundene Versicherungsgeschäft aus: Je mehr Schiffe unterwegs, desto stärker die Bewegung am Markt. Im Interview mit VWheute-Korrespondent Philipp Thomas blicken Experten der International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) in die Zukunft.

VWheute: Welche Auswirkungen hat der plötzliche Rückgang der Rohölpreise auf unter $85  im Hinblick auf die weltweite Explorationstätigkeit? Können Sie sich zurückgehende Werte bei Bohrplattformen sowie deren Einmottung vorstellen? Welche Folge hätte dies auf die Nachfrage nach Transportversicherungsdeckungen und das Marktgleichgewicht?

Simon Williams, Hiscox London, in his position as chairman of the IUMI Offshore Energy Committee:

The effect of the reducing oil price might well have an effect in the following areas: First, a reduction in drilling  as the capital outlay can be excessive and the oil company will want to know that the reward is sufficient for the risk of not hitting a financially viable reservoir. Second, there may well be a reduction in construction projects being committed to for both for oil companies and also drilling contractors. Third, the valuation of assets may well be revised downwards. However, it is always a tough one when commodity prices fall as different clients assume different commodity prices to run their businesses and so it may well be for some longer term established companies. $85 is still a very attractive price and so may have little impact on their business output albeit the margins may be lower but these new margins/returns may still be viewed as attractive. It is quite possible that more recent companies have used a higher commodity price in their plans and so a drop could well be very damaging.

Ab welchem Rohölpreis dürften Schiffe wieder schneller fahren? Wie würde sich die Entdrosselung auf die benötigten Schiffskapazitäten und somit auf die Schiffswerte auswirken?

Mark Edmondson, Chubb London, in his position as chairman of the IUMI Ocean Hull Committee:

I’m not able to be too specific on this issue in terms of the exact oil price.  However, with Goldman Sachs recently predicting that the price of Brent Crude may drop below $80 by year end, that swing would in theory impact tanker earnings and force operators to increase efficiency, perhaps including slow steaming and lay up. Obviously vessels fixed on longer term contracts would be less affected and there is I’m sure a tipping point at which owners will lay up although the oil price is pretty volatile.  I would need to do some careful research to establish where that point may be. There may be precedents for these both in the recent past (Q3 2008 onwards) and earlier (early 80′s shipping crisis) although the 80′s crisis was perhaps more a function of oversupply of tonnage than the price of oil in the case of tankers. There is a direct correlation between vessel valuations and the value of that vessel in the prevailing market. The relationship between the world economy, individual trades and the general trend in vessel values can be tracked. I’m not sure it’s available by different tonnage types however. A take away for me is that it was not that long ago when oil prices were below $40. Most established companies were unaffected but we did see more M&A activity as those companies who were geared to a higher price could not trade as effectively and sold or merged with a larger entity.

Welche Folgen ergeben sich für die Versicherer aus der beschleunigten Einforderung von notleidenden Schiffshypotheken durch deutsche Spezialbanken, etwa im Sinn einer Ausflaggung der betroffenen Einheiten?

By definition, non-performing mortgages will result in either re-negotiation of the terms loans or vessels being re-possessed and potentially laid up – in the event he crude price does indeed drop away significantly then this may indeed be an indirect result. However, flagging out does not directly impact the mortgage that’s in place.  The vessel still has to trade effectively to service the mortgage, irrespective of flag.  The owner may be able to improve his margin and efficiency by flagging out and thereby improve his ability to service the loan – the effectiveness of that measure would I guess depend on how serious the owners earning capacity has been impacted by the oil price. (vwh)

Bild: Der sinkende Rohölpreis lässt Schiffe schneller fahren. (Quelle: Assekuranz Köln)

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