2021 profits for Hyundai Merchant Marine soars 7 fold
Following on the news from other main line operators, Korean MLO Hyundai Merchant Marine reported a net profit increase of seven fold year on year in 2021 to US$4.4 billion drawn on revenues of $11.5 billion – up more than two fold.
HMM’s fourth quarter revenue increased 121 per cent year on year to $3.7 billion, reported London’s Loadstar.
The South Korean flag carrier attributed soaring profits to higher freight rates, as well as to deploying scrubber-fitted ships – more than 80 per cent compared to an industry average of 30 per cent.
The price gap between low-sulphur fuel and standard bunker is expected to widen, said HMM, adding that it would “be able to respond to rising oil prices effectively”.
Indeed, the price of low-sulphur fuel has increased in recent weeks, to $680 per ton, compared to the rise in standard bunker to $510 per ton, with analysts expecting the spread between the fuels to grow on the back of increasing oil prices, a reaction to global energy shortages and increased geopolitical tensions.
HMM will see fuel cost savings from its scrubber-fitted ships operating with THE Alliance, as will its co-loading partners, but it will also pay higher bunker costs due to its vessel sharing agreements when loading on the low-sulphur burning vessels operated by other members of THE Alliance.
HMM did not disclose its liftings for the year, but compared with THEA partners Hapag-Lloyd and ONE, its revenue appears to have grown faster, suggesting the carrier’s average rate per TEU was higher.
HMM deployed over 40 extra loaders last year, mainly on the transpacific, however several of these ships were subject to severe berthing delays at US west coast ports.
Since its state-funded restructuring, HMM has grown its capacity to over 800,000 TEU and overtaken THEA partner Yang Ming to become the eighth-ranked container line. And it has an orderbook of 161,000 TEU, which will take HMM within reach of its ambition to resume a role as a global carrier with a fleet of one million TEU.