Dry Cargo Archive

August 3rd 2017

Trump’s Pending Crackdown on Steel Imports Not as simple as it looks

President Trump has launched a Section 232 investigation into whether imports of steel and aluminium products into the United States poses a threat to national security. While this is primarily a political action aimed at restoring industrial output (putting America first), it has many wrinkles and could end up hurting dry bulk shipping. The initial talk was that a report could be ready as early as June but delays suggest that some issues are proving to be more problematic. We limit our commentary this week to steel. Aluminium is another story.


July 27th 2017

Bunker fuels in 2020 ULSFO weakens the scrubber case

Most of the discussion on the requirement for low sulphur bunkers post-2020 has looked at the play-off between installing a scrubber and using high-priced, low sulphur distillate fuels. But is there a third way? Experience from Europe’s Emission Control Area (ECA) suggests there is room for a compliant and cheaper fuel oil based bunker which, if replicated globally, could hit scrubber uptake. We look at the dynamics of this option. 

June 29th 2017

Chinese Coal Port Ban  Changing the rules

In early May, we wrote about how Chinese policy decisions were having a knock on impact on the freight market, concluding with the following comments… [the] biggest concern for the future of the freight market [is] the ability of the Chinese government through its policy decisions to control how it moves. Whilst there is no implication that the Chinese government is looking to directly impact on international seaborne freight rates, the tools it uses to control the domestic economy can only be finessed to a degree and there are inevitable knock on impacts into dry bulk”

June 22nd 2017

The Growing Orderbook  Bigger than before

So far this year, we count 26 confirmed new orders for dry bulk vessels. This is a pretty derisory number and continues a trend running from the start of 2016,  since when orders for just 43 ships have been placed — easily the lowest 18 month total in the last 40 years. This is good news for those worried about future deliveries tipping the supply-demand balance in an unfavourable direction, but it is clearly not enough to keep the shipyards busy, even with an uptick in ordering in other vessel sectors.