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Although many of China’s major bulk imports, such as iron ore and crude oil, have seen strong growth so far this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, imports of coal have followed the opposite trajectory.
An impressive recovery in Chinese dry bulk imports has protected the industry from the effects of falling demand in the rest of the world.
The outlook is poor for dry bulk, as the negative demand shock and overcapacity come together to send rates to multi-year lows, even a return to work in China is not enough to support the market.
The benefits of strong demand growth in the 2010s were limited by faster supply growth.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus a pandemic. There is little doubt that this will have significant implications for the shipping industry. But to what extent?
The fundamental balance will continue to deteriorate in 2020, offering little support to operators hoping to pass on higher fuel costs, caused by the sulphur cap, to shippers.