Capesize freight rates crashed through the $30,000 mark yesterday, hitting highs not seen for four years. Brokers pointed to the tight supply situation in the Atlantic basin for the rapid improvement in fortunes for the cape market seen over the past week. Gas shortages in China have also sparked a notable uptick in coal imports over the past six weeks.
The bullish tone in dry bulk was noticeable at last month’s Maritime CEO Forum held in Hong Kong where Keith Denholm, managing director at Lorentzen & Stemoco Singapore, commented: “We are on a steady path of growth. Steel prices are soaring. Raw material prices are still relatively low. China is lacking in quality coking coal and iron ore – their imports are going to continue to grow. A lot of infrastructure projects shelved earlier are coming back.”
During the same dry bulk panel, Angad Banga, the COO at the Caravel Group, said: “We have seen some improvements in the underlying fundamentals.” Banga said there had been most notable growth in coal and grains. “Underlying demand in China is strong,” he added.