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BULK - Stretching Bulkers


10127 fcras 6/5 2009 10:21
Oversigt

:
Written by Perter Clarkson Tuesday, 05 May 2009 23:17

The number of bulk carriers in lay-up or idle at ports around the world fell in April, as a combination of Chinese demand for iron ore and better freight rates saw unemployed ships resume trading.
However, while nearly 20 panamax and capesize vessels in the global fleet returned to work last month, greater numbers of older, smaller bulk carrier types remained idle and overlooked by charterers in favour of cheap modern tonnage.

There were 146 handysize, 101 handymax or supramax vessels, 44 panamax and 23 capesize vessels classified as inactive on April 30, according to the Lloyd's Inactive Vessels report.

This represented 14.4m dwt, or 5% of the global fleet above 10,000 dwt.

"Last month was the end of an era - the era of ships being laid up," said a London-based broker.

"We will see more inactive vessels, but they won't be laid up. They will be open somewhere, probably China, waiting for orders. If a ship is still laid up over the next month or so it will be a ‘toxic' ship or over-age ship, because in this market with the lower rates, everyone is trying to use a younger or decent ship."

The number of inactive bulk carriers from 35,000 dwt-55,000 dwt rose from 90 in March to 101 in April. There were 105 inactive vessels of this size in February.

Inactive vessels are classified as showing no AIS movement for 30 consecutive days. An estimated 100-200 larger bulk carriers stopped trading in late 2008 after a collapse in freight rates, along with around 500 smaller ships. Panamax average time charter rates plunged to loss-making levels of $3,500 per day in early December 2008, but have since recovered to reach $12,500 last week. Operating costs are about $5,200 per day.

Average rates for the world's 850 capesize bulk carriers crashed from above $200,000 per day in mid-2008 to $3,500 per day in December, and are now around $22,000 per day.

Many owners withdrew ships from the market and combined with cancelled contracts of affrieightment, as much as 10% of the global fleet was estimated to be unemployed at the year's end. There had been "loads" of ships in lay-up in Greece, brokers said.

Elderly ships or those associated with legal action were those now finding it most difficult to trade.

"Ships that have been inactive since probably December or January are able to move again," said another London-based broker.

"The capesize market is pretty buoyant, and you can see most of those owners are trading ships to the best of their ability and if there's problems securing employment, the only ones that there's difficulties for are the ones over 20 years of age."

He said that a clutch of smaller, 25-year-old capesize vessels without vetting approvals were "almost untradable".

The Baltic Dry Index rebound has largely stemmed from record levels of iron ore exports to China and a boost in grain shipments from South America to Asia.

Fixture data from the Baltic Exchange showed that the world's three largest iron ore producers chartered nearly 65 capesize vessels in April to ship iron ore. This reflected China's increasing reliance on imported ore, with recent price discounts and lower freight rates making it cheaper than domestic supplies.

Many owners withdrew ships from the market and combined with cancelled contracts of affrieightment, as much as 10% of the global fleet was estimated to be unemployed at the year's end. There had been "loads" of ships in lay-up in Greece, brokers said.

Elderly ships or those associated with legal action were those now finding it most difficult to trade.

"Ships that have been inactive since probably December or January are able to move again," said another London-based broker.

"The capesize market is pretty buoyant, and you can see most of those owners are trading ships to the best of their ability and if there's problems securing employment, the only ones that there's difficulties for are the ones over 20 years of age."

He said that a clutch of smaller, 25-year-old capesize vessels without vetting approvals were "almost untradable".

The Baltic Dry Index rebound has largely stemmed from record levels of iron ore exports to China and a boost in grain shipments from South America to Asia.

Fixture data from the Baltic Exchange showed that the world's three largest iron ore producers chartered nearly 65 capesize vessels in April to ship iron ore. This reflected China's increasing reliance on imported ore, with recent price discounts and lower freight rates making it cheaper than domestic supplies.


http://www.vinamaso.net/news-events/shipping-logistic..



6/5 2009 14:18 fcras 010159



China surpasses US as Brazil’s top trading partner
:
[06/05/09]

Sao Paolo: In what locals describe as a "historic change" -- as the US has been Brazil's biggest trading partner since the 1930s -- China has become Brazil’s top trading partner.

The sum of Brazil's exports and imports with China reached $3.2 billion in April, over the $2.8 billion in its trade with the US in a trend that the Brazilian trade minister is predicting will continue throughout 2009.

China moved into the top spot in March and repeated the performance in April with figures that “surely” will make the Asian giant the leader in the first four months and that will continue all year long “because the economy of the United States is weak as a result of the crisis,” Miguel Jorge said in remarks quoted by the Agencia Estado news agency.

“If China grows 7 percent in the second quarter, it will easier to maintain that same rate of expansion in the second half of the year, given that the country is already showing a better recovery than had been hoped,” Jorge said.

The minister said that Brazil could end 2009 with a growth rate of 7 percent in its businesses with Beijing and a bilateral trade surplus of $15 billion.

The main products that Brazil exports to China are soy, accounting for 33 percent of the total; iron ore, 25 percent, and petroleum, 10 percent, according to ministry figures.

The South American country mainly imports industrialized products from China, including parts for telephones, liquid crystal display screens, as well as coke to be used as fuel. [06/05/09]

http://www.seatradeasia-online.com/News/4085.html



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