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January 2023

Jet fuel volumes down 27% on 2019, Chinese re-opening to offer relief

The airline industry has been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic and seaborne jet fuel cargo volumes suffered along with it. In comparison to pre-pandemic levels, available seat kilometres dropped nearly 90% in early 2020.

Coal shipments to China fell 12.2% in 2022, mixed outlook ahead

Weak economic activity, a 10.5% increase in domestic coal mining, and a recovery in coal imports from Mongolia via rail alleviated coal shipments to China in 2022.

Chinese export container rates drop 27% as usual Lunar New Year cargo rush fails  

The bad news for liner operators appears to have no end. In a normal year, the weeks leading up to Chinese New Year (CNY) bring an increase in volumes and freight rates. So far, however, the lead-up to CNY in 2023 has been the worst in 13 years.

December 2022

Tankers end 2022 with 78% time charter contribution margin and best 2023 outlook

What a difference a year makes! At the end of 2021, container ships were enjoying a historically strong market and freight and time charter rates had yet to peak. At the same time, dry bulk ships were seeing multi-year high rates slipping away, although still enjoying better returns than in previous years. However, tanker ships were seemingly still stuck in a COVID market rut without any immediate hopes for a strong comeback. 

Australia on track for new harvest record and 9.8% jump in wheat exports

Despite floods in November, the Australian wheat production estimate for the 2022/23 marketing year (July 2022 to June 2023) has been increased by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Australian wheat exports could rise 9.8% this marketing year driven by strong harvests and strained global supplies.

Global container volumes fall 9.3% y/y as historic growth cycle ends

From mid-2020, global container export volumes saw strong growth, and combined with increasing port congestion it caused supply chain challenges and historically high liner operator financial results which have been the norm since. In September 2022, however, container volumes dropped below volumes recorded in the same month in 2019 for the first time since mid-2020 and statistics just released by Container Trade Statistics have confirmed the trend.   

Demolition prices slip to USD 525 per LDT in India despite policy change

On 18 November, India’s government removed export tariffs on iron ore and some intermediary steel products. However, this was not enough to keep domestic ship demolition prices from dropping to USD 525 per Light Displacement Tonnage (LDT) at the end of November, 7.9% lower than at the end of October.  

November 2022

Two weeks before ban, EU still imports 15% of crude oil from Russia 

On 8 June 2022, the European Union (EU) decided to impose a ban on seaborne imports of Russian crude oil and oil products. The ban on crude oil will take effect on 5 December and by then the EU must have found new suppliers and Russia must find new buyers. 

Bulk carrier deliveries could hit 19-year low in 2024, boosting contracting 

According to BIMCO estimates from the upcoming Dry Bulk Shipping Market Overview and Outlook report, deliveries of bulk carriers should drop to 23.8 million DWT in 2024. The sector’s orderbook currently adds up to 66.7 million DWT, a mere 6.9% of the bulker fleet, the lowest ratio since at least 1996.

September head-haul volumes fall 15.5% y/y as liner landscape faces change

In September 2022, head-haul and regional export volumes were down 9.3% y/y according to Container Trade Statistics. Head-haul trades fell 15.5% whereas regional trades were down 0.7%. At the same time, volumes were 0.2% lower than in September 2019. The volume decline represented the first month since June 2020 to see lower volumes compared with the same month in 2019 and could be a warning that laid up ships and further freight rate reductions are on the horizon.