FEATURE | Crude oil tanker freight rates from the Arabian Gulf to China double on the back of tanker attacks

VLCC spot freight rates between the Arabian Gulf and China rose 101 per cent in the days between June 13 and June 20, in the aftermath of attacks on two tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, according to BIMCO. Spot freight rates for a VLCC, carrying two million barrels of oil, between the Arabian Gulf and China reached US$25,994 per day on June 20, their highest level since March and significantly above the May average of US$9,979 per day.

FEATURE | “It’s the steel production, stupid!”

Chinese imports of iron ore keep falling, while its crude steel production keeps growing, according to data compiled by BIMCO. China’s increased use of scrap metal for its production of crude steel is fundamentally critical to the dry bulk shipping industry. Mostly Capesize ships are impacted by this, way beyond the temporary iron ore export disruptions in Brazil and Australia.

OPINION | Trade tensions and rising risks lead to slowing growth

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised down its predictions for global growth in 2019 and 2020. It forecasts growth to be 3.5 per cent in 2019 and 3.6 per cent in 2020. This means a dampening of global growth over the next two years, as growth in 2018 is estimated to be 3.7 per cent The slowdown will affect both advanced and emerging economies.

OPINION | Trade war cease-fire is good news for the dry bulk sector

Following an almost total halt in exports of soya beans to China in the last quarter of 2018, the new year has brought new hopes for American farmers and the dry bulk shipping sector. The USDA reported that in the first four weeks of 2019 754,609 tonnes of soya beans were ready to be shipped in China, up from only 25,347 tonnes in December.

FEATURE | US container imports break records but uncertainty lies ahead

Container imports on both the US East Coast (USEC) and West Coast (USWC) had a strong year in 2018, growing 3.7 per cent and 8 per cent respectively in the first 11 months of the year compared to the same period in 2017. Record high levels of inbound laden containers were experienced on both coasts in October with the USWC at 1.09 million TEU and the USEC at 0.91 million TEU according to data from BIMCO.

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