>> Global: The summer lull in the freight market is soon to be over as we enter into the seasonally-stronger final five months of the year. It has been a rather poor year for dry bulk sector earnings and the outlook is unlikely to support a joyride sim¬ilar to that of last year.
Dry bulk freight rates have been under significant pressure since the most recent fall off the cliff in Mid-December 2011 after a most pleasant joyride since Mid-August 2011. As judged by the Baltic Dry Index (BDI), the market has been 30% lower in the first seven months of 2012 as compared to the same period in 2011 and a staggering 68% lower than in 2010.
The situation in the Asian coal market is beginning to look slightly better recently, as prices are now appearing to bottom out. Total coal exports from Australia and Indonesia are up by 8.6% in the first half of 2012, as importers took advantage of the lowering of prices to stock up.
China’s coal imports rushed forward by 65.9% to 139.85 million tons accord¬ing to China National Coal Association (CNCA), up from 84 million in first half of 2011. Meanwhile, domestic production surged by more than 100 million tons. CNCA reported that consumption was up by just 53.7 million tons (2.2%), concluding that the Chinese coal market is expected to remain oversupplied in H2-2012 due to weak demand coupled with rapid growth in supply. Should this result in lower imports, it will be unpleasant for shipping demand
Read more about August 2012 on www.marine-news-china.com