An impressive recovery in Chinese dry bulk imports has protected the industry from the effects
of falling demand in the rest of the world. High deliveries and low contracting have left the orderbook at multi-year lows,
but – with the poor outlook – the current influx of new dry bulk ships orders is not what is needed.
Demand drivers and freight rates
The biggest story in the dry bulk industry in recent months has been the strength of the recovery in major Chinese imports.
These are up across the board, breaking previous records, not just for monthly imports, but also accumulated over the first
seven months of the year. The Chinese recovery has been strong enough to make up for lower activity in the rest of the world,
with all ship sizes above their break-even levels.
Capesize earnings rose quickly in late June, to reach $33,760 per day on July 7. The high Chinese imports led to congestion
at many of its ports, temporarily lowering the number of available ships. Since then, rates have fallen to a more sustainable
level, averaging around $19,400 per day in August.