Domestic coal shipping under severe pressure

Shanghai: Small domestic lines focused on the coastal coal market are hurting, with many expected to declare bankruptcy this year.

On Friday the China Coastal Bulk (Coal) Freight Index, operated by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange (SSE), closed at a year low of 574.59 points. It has been on a permanent slide since the end of March as demand for coal from utilities has eased up.

Six of the nine domestic coal shipping routes tracked by the SSE were trading for less than 30RMB a ton at close of play on Friday, and the highest figure, for 50,000 to 60,000 dwt bulkers heading from Qinhuangdao to Guangzhou was only chalking up a measly RMB33.4 a ton. A year ago all ships moving coal domestically were making around RMB60 a ton.

“If the situation carries on much longer, which would seem likely, then a lot of the smaller operators, who are losing money on every voyage at the moment, will go out of business,” one broker in Shanghai told SinoShip News.  [02/07/12]

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