Bulk Shipping Watch Newsletter – April 2024

April 2024

Iron Ore & Steel

Iron ore down on pre-holiday risk-off, but posts best monthly gain since June 2023

Source: Hellenic shipping news

Iron ore and steel futures fell on Tuesday amid risk-off sentiment ahead of a Chinese public holiday, but most contracts posted monthly gains on the back of better demand outlook from the property sector. FULL STORY

Column: China’s strong iron ore imports diverge from weak steel output

Source: Mining

China’s first quarter imports of iron ore and its domestic production of the steel raw material both rose strongly, but output of crude steel fell. FULL STORY

China’s steel sector has bigger worries than Biden tariff hike

Source: Market Screener

U.S. President Joe Biden’s push to triple tariffs on Chinese steel imports strikes a mostly symbolic blow on an industry facing bigger concerns over faltering local demand and threats of even stronger blowback against China’s surging exports. FULL STORY

China’s March iron ore imports edge up, steel exports near 8-year high

Source: Mining

China’s iron ore imports in March rose about 0.5% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Friday, amid expectations that demand will pick up after the Lunar New Year holiday break as steelmakers typically ramp up production. FULL STORY

China’s steel demand expected to be weak in traditionally stronger Q2

Source: SP Global

China’s overall steel demand is expected to remain subdued in a traditionally stronger second quarter, mill and trading sources said, after the country’s net exports of semi-finished and finished steel hit an almost eight-year high in March even as production fell below the year-ago level. FULL STORY

China’s equipment renewals to boost new demand for higher-end steel products

Source: China Daily

The country’s action plan to promote large-scale equipment renewals is estimated to generate about 8 million tonnes in new market demand for medium and high-end steel products by the manufacturing industry, according to an industrial association. FULL STORY

Input costs, election, Chinese imports to weigh on steelmakers’ Q4 margins

Source: 15minute News

Major steelmakers are likely to take a hit in the March quarter due to a slowdown in domestic demand ahead of elections, and falling steel prices on account of aggressive competition from Chinese manufacturers, experts said. FULL STORY

Congo’s $7 billion infrastructure deal with China will depend on copper prices

Source: Mining

Around $7 billion of infrastructure investments in the Democratic Republic of Congo by Chinese companies in a revised minerals deal will largely depend on copper prices remaining high, details of the agreement published on Friday show. FULL STORY

Chinese miners see opportunities as BHP’s mega bid unfolds

Source: Mining

China’s leading metals companies, including its state iron ore buyer, are considering their next moves following BHP Group’s blockbuster $39 billion approach for rival Anglo American Plc, potentially the largest mining deal in over a decade. FULL STORY

Chinese nickel billionaire boosts Australian miner in Indonesia

Source: Mining

A little-known Australian company is becoming the Western face of a Chinese nickel behemoth.

In under a decade, Nickel Industries Ltd. has gone from a relatively small miner to the world’s sixth-biggest producer of a metal used in products from batteries to stainless steel. Riding a Chinese-led boom in Indonesia’s nickel sector, it owns or has stakes in five plants in the country that churn out more of the commodity than household names like BHP Group Ltd. FULL STORY


China overtakes Japan in April as Australia’s top coal market

Source: The Star

AUSTRALIA shipped more coal to China than Japan in April, the first time this has happened in any month in more than four years, underscoring shifting market dynamics and an improved political relationship with Beijing. FULL STORY

China’s rising hydro and solar set to cap coal use in 2024

Source: Reuters

China’s electricity consumption increased by 209 billion kilowatt-hours, or 10%, in the first three months of 2024 compared with the same period in 2023, when the country was emerging from the exit wave of the coronavirus. FULL STORY

China coal prices have bottomed, will surpass 2023 highs, industry group says

Source: Market Screener

China’s domestic coal prices have bottomed out and will exceed 2023 highs this year, a major coal industry group said on Wednesday. FULL STORY

China can’t quit coal by 2040, researchers say, despite global climate goals

Source: Mining

China’s coal consumption will fall by just one-third by 2040, according to a report by a European consultancy published on Tuesday, threatening climate targets that call for phasing out much of global coal use by 2040. FULL STORY

China state planner finalizes rule to set up coal production reserve system

Source: Mining

China’s state planner on Friday finalized a rule to set up a domestic coal production reserve system by 2027, aimed at stabilizing thermal coal prices and supplies to power plants. FULL STORY

China’s coal-rich Shanxi Province sees coal output fall 18.9 pct in Q1

Source: Xin Hua

The output of raw coal in north China’s Shanxi Province, a leading coal producer of the country, totaled about 271.62 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2024, down 18.9 percent year on year, local authorities said Thursday. FULL STORY

China’s coal output down 4.1 pct in Q1

Source: Xin Hua

China’s raw coal output fell 4.1 percent year on year to 1.11 billion tonnes in the first quarter of this year, official data showed. FULL STORY

China Mar thermal coal imports up 2.73% on yr

Source: SX Coal

China imported 32.38 million tonnes of thermal coal in March 2024, rising 2.73% year on year and 25.13% month on month, hitting a record high for the same period in history, the latest customs data shows. FULL STORY


Chinese farmers enthusiastic about growing soybean

Source: China Daily

Snow began to thaw in late April in Heihe in China’s northeastern most province of Heilongjiang. Soybean grower Li Fuqiang wasted no time to start spring ploughing at full steam. FULL STORY

50m ton increase in food targeted by 2030

Source: China Daily

The central government has issued a guideline that aims to increase China’s annual food production capacity by more than 50 million metric tons by 2030, with a focus on corn and soybean, the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planner, said on Tuesday. FULL STORY

China set for bumper harvests of grains and oilseeds, ministry says

Source: Tridge

China is set for another year of bumper harvest of grains and oilseeds, helped by expanded planting of winter wheat and rapeseed and healthy growth of seedlings,the country’s agricultureministry said on Friday. FULL STORY

Information about China’s rejection of Ukrainian corn is a rumor at the level of traders

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

There are currently no ban on import of Ukrainian corn to China, all the rumors that are circulating now are at the level of traders, said Mykola Gorbachev, president of the Ukrainian Grain Association (UGA), at the Black Sea Grain. Kyiv conference, Latifundist.com correspondent reports. FULL STORY

China imported the lowest volume of soybeans in 4 years in March

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

According to the customs data, China imported the smallest monthly volume of soybeans in March for the last 4 years – 5.54 mln tonnes, which is also 20% lower than in March 2023. FULL STORY

China was Destination for 91.8% of Soy Exports from Paranagua

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

During the first three months of 2024, China was the destination for 91.8% of the soybean exports from the Port of Paranagua in southern Brazil. According to data from the federal government (Comes Stat), Paranagua exported 3,208,185 tons of soybeans to China during the first quarter of 2024. That number is 105% more than the 1,563,276 tons exported during the same period in 2023. FULL STORY

China to determine market trend for soybeans and soybean meal: IGC Director

Source: S&P Global

International Grains Council Executive Director Arnaud Petit has said that China will be determining the market trend for soybeans and soybean meal as the biggest demand center. FULL STORY

Malawi launches soybean exports to China

Source: Xin Hua

Malawi’s soya industry has made a breakthrough into Chinese market as the southern African country seeks to increase agricultural exports to boost the economy. FULL STORY

Chinese Buyers Cancel Corn Shipments as Beijing Supports Farmers

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

Chinese buyers are canceling corn shipments as they seek to comply with new government measures to support domestic farmers. FULL STORY


State shipbuilder signs big tanker deal

Source: China Daily

China State Shipbuilding Corp, one of the world’s largest shipbuilders, has received what it calls the largest single global order of ships from energy industry giant Qatar Energy. FULL STORY

Chinese turbine manufacturers lead in taking products to foreign shores

Source: China Daily

Chinese wind turbine makers are not only exhibiting their prowess in domestic markets, but are also expanding to foreign ones, as the related technology evolution between China and the rest of the world is diverging quickly, according to a recently released report. FULL STORY

Sabic mulls collaboration with value chain partners

Source: China Daily

Saudi Arabian petrochemicals company Sabic is committed to further collaborating with upstream and downstream value chain partners to unlock huge opportunities in China, thereby driving the innovative development and structural transformation of the petrochemicals industry in the country, its top executive said. FULL STORY

Asia’s first FPSO built in China

Source: China Daily

Construction of Asia’s first cylindrical floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility, designed and built by China, was completed on Friday, according to its operator China National Offshore Oil Corp. FULL STORY

Energy and chemical company Aramco enters discussion with Hengli Group

Source: China Daily

Aramco, one of the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals companies, has entered into discussions with Hengli Group Co Ltd regarding the potential acquisition of a 10 percent stake in Hengli Petrochemical Co Ltd, the company said on Tuesday. FULL STORY

Oil consumption back to 2019 levels

Source: China Daily

China’s petroleum refining capacity is entering a new expansion phase with 85 million metric tons expected to be added from 2024 to 2027, experts said. Around 35 million tons of outdated petroleum refining capacity will be optimized to boost high-quality development of the industry, they added. FULL STORY

China’s crude oil output increases in January-March

Source: Xin Hua

China’s crude oil output posted steady growth in the first three months of this year, official data showed. FULL STORY

China’s natural gas output rises in January-March

Source: Xin Hua

China’s natural gas output hit a record high in the first quarter of 2024, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. FULL STORY

China warns of tight summer power supply amid weather worries

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

China’s energy regulator expects maximum power load this summer to swell by more than 100 million kilowatts from last year, threatening to strain supply in some regions, especially in harsh weather, it said on Monday. FULL STORY

China’s Sinopec charts global expansion with refinery in rival India’s backyard

Source: Reuters

Chinese state energy giant Sinopec is pushing for greater access to Sri Lanka’s market, where rival India is also seeking to expand its presence, as it looks to build its first fully-controlled overseas refinery, reflecting a change in the firm’s global strategy to compensate for slowing demand growth at home. FULL STORY

China boosted Q1 crude oil storage as imports flatlined

Source: Market Screener

China increased the pace at which it added crude to inventories in March as the world’s biggest oil importer snapped up record imports from Western-sanctioned Russia. FULL STORY

China’s cargo, container throughputs at ports log steady growth in 2023

Source: Xin Hua

China’s cargo and container throughput at ports saw steady expansion in 2023, official data showed. FULL STORY