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Chinese import preferences limit shipping upside

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Dry Bulk,

With Australia and Indonesia shipping more coal to China at the expense of longer-haul US and South African coal shipments, China’s recent coal import renaissance has limited upside for the dry bulk shipping market, according to shipping association, BIMCO.

“After dropping in 2015, the commodity trades into China are now showing great support to the dry bulk shipping industry,” said BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst, Peter Sand.

However, “despite a solid surge in coal volumes, the demand side of the dry bulk shipping industry will not benefit to the same extent as before,” continued Sand. “Since 2014, there has been a change in the coal trade patterns where China has singled out its key distributors and focused increasingly on them. This has brought around shorter sailing distances, due to the proximity of exporters”.

According to BIMCO, Indonesia has accounted for the vast majority of new Chinese imports, taking around 80% of the additional seaborne volume on a 29% increase in its lignite exports. Chinese imports sources from origins other that Indonesia and Australia has fallen to just 16% in 2016, compared to 23% in 2013.

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