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Our remarks today will be followed by a question-and-answer session. For those of who want to follow our slide presentation, please go to the TBS website, which again is www.tbsship.com and click on the webcast link.Note that the slides are user controlled. So those of you who want to follow the webcast please click on the arrow at the bottom of the webcast screen to make the slides turn. Also please note that the webcast will be archived on our website. And now I'd like you to please turn to slide number 1. This slide refers the forward looking statements. During the course of this conference call we may make forward-looking statements. Such statements are just predictions and involve risks and uncertainties such that actual results may differ materially. I'd like to refer you to our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in particular our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our Annual Reports on Form 10-K. These documents contain and identify important factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. With that, I'd like to introduce Joseph Royce, our Chairman, CEO and President. Joseph Royce Thank you Fred, good morning everyone and welcome to TBS International conference call for the results of the second quarter and six months ended June 30, 2010. Now we begin our presentation with slide number two, TBS today decision for the recovery. During the first two months of the second quarter we saw the improvement in trade rates on the transportation of bulk and breakbulk cargoes continue from the first quarter. Demand for the carriage of aggregate sugar, salt and grain cargos increased. On our multipurpose tweendecker business we saw both volumes and freight rates improved as traditional customers increased to export of steel line project and general cargo which helped to reinstate operational and rotational balance.
Trade from Asia to South America experienced strong cargo volumes with oil vessels operating on the route failed to capacity. Despite the reduced iron ore imports by China we experience strong exports of minerals and metals from the West Coast to South America to Asia.Commencing in mid-May the baltic dry index declined from its value of 3939 to 1700 representing about 57% drop. This regression in a dry bulk market freight rates impacted the TBS fleet especially our bulk carriers and the impact is continuing in quarter three 2010. However, market freight rates in our sector appear to have stabilized in recent weeks. Our business plan is to capitalize on the alliances, TBS built during the past year to expand the TBS brand and five star service in Latin America and Africa which we view as emerging continents, rich in energy and mineral resources which will sustain viable growth for the future. We have developed long-term relationships with well established industrial shippers in diverse markets that include mining, steel manufacturing, heavy industry, industrial equipment and construction. We believe that our business model allows us to increase the value of our service to our customers as we all are well equipped to meet their challenging demands and shorter delivery windows. Our joint venture subsidiary ROCK-STAR recently obtained an operational license in Brazil to divide domestic shipping services. This Brazilian flag shipping company will concentrate on the movement of breakbulk, bulk parcels, heavy lift, general and project cargos along the coast line of Brazil and the Amazon River Basin. We own 70% of this joint venture, Log Star initial fleet of three vessels will be operated under a three year bareboat charter. We are on track with our goal to modernize and expand our fleet to our new building program of six multipurpose tweendeck vessels of which we have taken delivery of our first two vessels. We sold our smallest handysize bulk carrier, the motor vessel Savannah Belle in July. We believe that when market conditions begin to improve, TBS will be well positioned to take advantage of future growth. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com