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Has the lid finally come off for crude oil tanker demolition in 2021? If judged by the 1.9m DWT of capacity that was removed in September, the answer is “yes”.
As the average length of the journey increases, partly due to port congestions in China, soaking up capacity and pushing up spot rates, shipowners will likely be enjoying high freight rates until the end of the year.
For almost three months now, the spot freight rate for containerised goods shipped by sea from North Europe to the US East Coast has been 210% higher than last year (1 July – 23 Sept).
In the first seven months of the year Chinese coal imports from Australia have totalled just 780,000 tonnes as Chinese restrictions on Australian coal have started to hurt, according to Oceanbolt.
Exports from the major US west coast container ports took another hit in July, falling to their lowest level since at least 2010, the earliest BIMCO has data for.
The 49.2 composite reading of the Caixin/Markit China manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) in August marks the first contraction in activity since April 2020 when China was recovering from its initial COVID-19 outbreak.
Chinese crude oil imports fell year-on-year in June and July, ending a streak of five months of accumulated year-on-year growth.
Chinese iron ore imports fell to 88.5 million tonnes in July, the lowest level since May 2020.
During the first seven months of 2021, only three actively trading Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) have been sold for demolition.
US manufacturing of durable goods, which has been lagging the wider recovery of the US economy, hit an all-time high in June when USD 270.5 billion worth of goods was produced.