NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 16, 2012) - Shipping stocks have struggled as oversupply and global economic uncertainties have continued to plague the industry. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of costs to ship dry-bulk commodities such as grain, coal and iron ore, has dropped as much as 50 percent in 2012. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Shipping Industry and provides equity research on DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ: DRYS) and Frontline Ltd. (NYSE: FRO).
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Things may be turning around for the industry as stimulus measures announced by the Chinese government in September have seen demand for iron ore spike. China, who is the largest importer of iron ore, plans to purchase record amounts of the commodity in the fourth quarter, which will help ease the current glut in shipping.
"We're finally getting back into a period when the market isn't so oversupplied," said Jeffrey Landsberg, managing director of Commodore Research & Consultancy. "When we do have sharp increases in demand, Capesize rates can rise significantly."
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DryShips recently announced that their main focus will be on their capital expenditure program. "The optimization of our drybulk and tanker newbuilding programs is our top priority right now and we are in discussions with the shipyards in this respect to reduce and prolong our capex program," Chief Executive George Economou said in a statement.
Frontline has established itself as the world leader in the international seaborne transportation of crude oil, with one of the world's largest fleets of VLCC and Suezmax tankers, and Suezmax OBO carriers. Shares of the company surged nearly 20 percent Wednesday after competitor Overseas Shipholding announced it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
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