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December 2023

New solutions needed as waiting times at Brazilian ports reach 15 days

Congestion for ships loading grain cargoes at Brazilian ports has surged this year due to large harvests and low water levels in the Amazon River. Between January and November, the average waiting time reached 15 days, up from nine days average between 2018 and 2022 and well above the global average of five days for grain loadings in 2023.

Container freight rates fall to 2019 levels while costs remain high

So far this year, container volumes have fallen nearly 2% year-on-year while average freight rates have declined, reaching 2019 levels in September. Since then, they have continued to fall. However, the cost to charter a ship remains 25% higher than in 2019.

November 2023

Coal shipments to advanced economies down 17% so far in 2023

In the first ten months of 2023, coal shipments to advanced economies fell by 17% y/y, as demand for electricity declined and the share of electricity produced using renewable energy rose. Also slowed economic activity and high energy prices affected electricity demand.

Greek and Chinese companies own 34% of the global fleet’s cargo capacity

The global fleet of cargo carrying ships consists of around 61,000 ships with a deadweight capacity of about 2,200 million tonnes. The ships owned by Greek and Chinese shipping companies contribute 34% of the total fleet’s deadweight tonne capacity.

Black Sea dry bulk exports up 13% y/y as Russian wheat exports rise

Between January and October, dry bulk exports out of the Black Sea increased by 13% y/y, driven by Russian wheat exports. After two strong consecutive wheat harvests in Russia, the country’s exports are now on track to reach a new record in 2023. However, Black Sea export volumes are 20% lower than in 2021 due to the loss of Ukrainian cargoes following Russia’s invasion of the country.

October 2023

Container ships reach highest average age on record of 14.2 years

Container ships have reached their highest average age yet at 14.2 years, the highest average age of the three main shipping sectors. The dry bulk fleet has an average age of 11.9 years whereas tankers on average are 12.8 years old.

Capesize order book slips to 5% of fleet as contracting falls

At the start of October, the capesize order book was at 20 million DWT, a mere 5% of the capesize fleet. The contracting of newbuild capesize ships has gradually decreased since its peak in 2013 and only 5 million DWT were contracted so far in 2023, down 4% y/y. Low freight rates paired with a young fleet are keeping the order book small.

China restricts refined oil product exports despite oil inventory increase of 0.7 mbpd

During the first three quarters of 2023, China has continued expanding its crude inventories by an estimated 0.7 million barrels per day (mbpd). These increased inventories could allow China to maintain strong exports of refined products even if crude oil imports are lowered.

Coal shipments to India fall 9% as domestic mining increases

During the first nine months of 2023, coal shipments to the world’s second largest importer of seaborne coal, India, fell 9% y/y. A 12% y/y rise in domestic coal mining replaced imports and electricity production continued to rise despite lower production from hydro power.

September 2023

Year-to-date product tanker newbuild contracting hits 10-year high

During the first eight months of 2023, contracting of product tanker newbuilds hit a 10-year high, reaching 140 ships and 10.72 million deadweight tonnes (DWT). The last time more than 10 million DWT were contracted from January through August was in 2013.