December 20 - According to the latest shipping confidence survey from Moore Stephens, overall confidence levels in the shipping industry rose to their highest level for more than three years over the three-month period to November, 2013.

The average confidence level expressed by respondents in the markets in which they operate was 6.1 on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), compared to the 5.9 recorded in the previous survey in August 2013. This is highest figure since the 6.2 recorded in August 2010.
There was encouraging news on freight rates and evidence of an increased willingness to invest, but concern remains on over-tonnaging, operating costs and the cost of regulation.
"We envisage the market growing in Asia, and in Brazil and Russia, typified by increasing imports of products for use in energy projects. We also see an increase in the use of gas as an alternative energy source, with many countries developing infrastructure and facilities to facilitate distribution," remarked on e respondent.
Other respondents were more guarded, commenting: "The shipping industry in general is very weak at present, although we do expect improvements in 2014."