Dry Cargo

Seaborne trade of dry bulk cargo will surpass 5bn tons for the first time this year

For the first time in history, seaborne trade of dry bulk cargo will surpass 5bn tons, an increase of 3.6% year-on-year, according to Lorentzen & Stemoco estimates. Of these, some 2.9 bn tonnes will be discharged in China, meaning about 48% of total volumes.

There, however, the good news ends on what has been a dire week for dry bulk owners across the board.

The Baltic Dry Index has slumped 19% this week to close on just 514 points, with the capesize index the hardest hit, earning just $4,858 per day and Clarksons Research reporting last night average spot earnings for non scrubber- fitted capes have fallen to just $2,357 per day.

“Sentiment among owners remains particularly weak and charterers are still controlling the market,” brokers Intermodal noted in its most recent weekly report, saying any meaningful recovery in the short terms was unlikely.

Allied Shipbroking warned this week the average TCE drop for all dry bulk segments has slipped well below open levels, putting owners “under stress”.

Norwegian brokers Fearnleys said the spot market was “nervous” and period activity limited this week.

Finally, researchers at Braemar ACM note that while they do see improving cargo volumes from Brazil on the horizon, the company remains cautious over a 2019-style bull run in the coming months.

“With a serious overhang of tonnage and a slump in global raw material demand, it’s tough to be optimistic about such a rally,” Braemar ACM stated in a report yesterday.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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