According to MANA, as expected, China’s ban on coal imports into its second-tier ports has added a certain degree of bearishness into the panamax sector.
The average weighted time charter lost 7.8% to $8,496 per day at the close on Wednesday on the Baltic Exchange, while the index gave up 90 points to settle at 1,060 compared with a week ago.
According to Ocean Freight Exchange, the news “did induce some negative market sentiment” although whether this was simply a case of an oversupplied market, time will tell.
Many of the affected ports are owned by power plants along the Chinese coast and the new measures, which came into force on July 1, are expected to increase their shipping and loading fees, according to brokerage Banchero Costa, adding that some shipments had been cancelled or diverted to other ports.
In the week’s spot market, at least three coal trades were fixed to India; two from Australia and one from Indonesia, according to Clarksons.
A cargo of met coke moving from Rotterdam to a port in Brazil was also among spot fixtures, concluded at $15 per tonne, Clarksons data showed.
Other trades were fixed at $15,500 per day with cargo loading on the US east coast, discharging at the Cape of Good Hope and vessel delivery to Japan, the data showed. A number of deals were done at the $10,750 per day level from the east coast of South America to Southeast Asia.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Oldendorff Carriers, along with Welhunt and Haivan, are setting up a floating transfer platform in South Vietnam for the transhipment of coal going into the country.
It will be able to handle all bulk carriers up to 210,000 dwt.
“Vietnam is currently facing a significant challenge to receive and export growing volumes of bulk cargoes due to shallow ports and relatively poor port infrastructure,” Oldendorff said in a statement, adding that coal imports in particular had grown more than 100% per year in the last seven and were expected to reach 60m tonnes per year by 2025.