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June 2024

Newbuilding prices climb 3% to highest level in 16 years

Since the start of the year, newbuilding prices have risen 3% to their highest level since 2008. Compared to their most recent low in late 2020 they are up 53%. During the same period, the order book has grown by 72%, reaching its highest level since early 2012 and is up 2% year-to-date.

Charter owners’ share of fleet has fallen to 40%, lowest since 2002

The charter owners’ container fleet has grown at an average annual rate of 3.2% for the past twelve years and currently stands at 11.7m TEU. The operator owners’ fleet has however grown faster, so the charter owners’ fleet now makes up only 40% of total container fleet capacity, down from 50% in 2012.

May 2024

Dry bulk sailing distances jump 31% for routes using the Panama Canal

The limits in daily transits in the Panama Canal have significantly affected the dry bulk market, with transits down 74% y/y between January and April 2024. During this period, sailing distances for completed voyages in the affected routes rose 31% y/y, while the cargo volume dropped 25% y/y. Overall, tonne mile demand for these routes fell 1% y/y.

Peak in China’s coal demand in sight as renewables jump 12%

Between January and April 2024, China’s electricity generation from renewables surged 12% y/y, significantly outpacing the 6% growth in generation from fossil fuels. While steam coal shipments to China rose 29% y/y, they are starting to feel the pressure from stronger renewables. Between March and April, the shipments fell 7% y/y as electricity generation from fossil fuels only rose 1% y/y.

Global soya bean exports expected to grow 8% until 2025

Global soya bean exports are forecast to grow by 8% between 2023 and 2025 based on data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Stronger import demand from China will be met by larger harvests in the US and Brazil and in the near term, soya beans are expected to be a key growth driver for global grain shipments.

Container ship deliveries hit new YTD record of 1m TEU

In 2023, 2.3 million TEU of container ship capacity was delivered, beating the former all-time high by 37%. Year-to-date another record has been set as more than 1 million TEU has already been delivered during the first four months of the year, an increase of nearly 80% compared to the previous record.

April 2024

Brazil’s import of Russian clean petroleum products jumps 135%

Since the European Union sanctioned Russian oil exports in 2022, crude oil and dirty and clean petroleum products (CPP) have found new buyers. India and China have taken most of the crude oil and dirty products while Türkiye and Brazil have emerged as the main buyers of CPP. Year-to-date, Brazil’s import of Russian CPP has increased by 135% year-on-year.

Iron ore shipments up 3.8% despite weak Chinese demand

In the first quarter of 2024, global iron ore shipments rose 3.8% y/y on expectation of strong Chinese steel production which, however, failed to materialise. Iron ore supply has grown faster than Chinese demand which could lead to weaker shipments ahead.

COVID pandemic wiped 24.6 million TEU off container market growth

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global container market grew only 1.5% from 171.0 million TEU in 2019 to 173.5 million TEU in 2023. Without the pandemic, that figure would have been 24.6 million higher, landing at 198.1 million in 2023.

EU tanker import tonne mile demand up 12% as ships avoid Red Sea area

In 2023, sanctions on Russian oil exports by the EU caused a major shift in tanker trades and a 10% increase in average sailing distances for EU tanker imports. Now, attacks on ships in the Red Sea area have caused average sailing distances to increase a further 16% and tonne mile demand to increase 12% despite falling volumes.