Bulk Shipping Watch Newsletter – June 2024

June 2024

Iron Ore & Steel

Iron ore logs weekly gain on resilient China demand, property stimulus

Source: Trading View

Iron ore futures prices edged up on Friday and logged a weekly rise, thanks to a boost from the latest property stimulus and resilient demand for the key steelmaking ingredient in top consumer China, though lingering high stocks curbed gains. FULL STORY

Antofagasta lowers copper treatment fees for some Chinese smelters, sources say

Source: Mining

Chilean miner Antofagasta has agreed a sharp reduction to copper treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) with some Chinese smelters to $23.25 a metric ton and $2.325 cents a pound, two sources close to the matter told Reuters. FULL STORY

Copper holds steady under pressure from China demand concerns, stronger dollar

Source: Zawya

Copper prices held steady in London on Wednesday under pressure from concerns about current demand in top metals consumer China, rising stocks and a stronger dollar. FULL STORY

China’s steel sector looks a little healthier, or does it?

Source: Reuters

It’s a case of one step forward, two steps back for China’s steel and iron ore sectors, with positive production data being countered by ongoing concerns over the struggling property sector. FULL STORY

China May aluminium output surges 7% to highest in nearly a decade

Source: Market Screener

China’s production of primary aluminium rose 7.2% in May to its highest in almost a decade, boosted by strong growth prospects for the solar and electric vehicle sector. The world’s biggest aluminium producer churned out 3.65 million metric tons of primary aluminium, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. FULL STORY

China May crude steel output jumps on improved demand, strong exports

Source: Market Screener

China’s crude steel output in May climbed 8.1% from the previous month and was up 2.7% from the year before, statistics bureau data showed on Monday, thanks to improved domestic demand and robust exports. FULL STORY

China’s strong iron ore imports contrast with weak steel output

Source: Market Screener

The strength in China’s iron ore imports this year stands in stark contrast to the weakness in steel production and demand, setting up a dilemma as to how the contradiction will be resolved. FULL STORY

China’s May iron ore imports above 100 metric tons for third month

Source: Market Screener

China’s iron ore imports in May stayed above 100 million metric tons for a third straight month, customs data showed on Friday, thanks to the anticipation of higher demand after a slew of stimulus measures by Beijing to revive the property sector. FULL STORY


China dials down coal output to focus on structural reform

Source: Market Screener

China’s coal production has slowed slightly, after rapid growth in the last two years, as the energy supply situation has become more comfortable, allowing the government to focus on long-term structural changes. FULL STORY

China’s May coal output slips 0.8% year-on-year

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

Coal output in the world’s largest producer China slipped 0.8% year-on-year in May, statistics bureau data showed on Monday, as ongoing safety inspections leading to some production pauses weighed on output. FULL STORY

China, India ease imports of thermal coal, but North Asia gains

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

Asia’s imports of seaborne thermal coal are expected to be largely steady in June, but are showing some divergence between strength in North Asian buyers of higher-quality fuel and softness in lower-grade coal sought by China and India. FULL STORY

China’s coal imports from Russia rise to eight-month high in May

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

Russia’s coal shipments to China rose to the highest level in eight months in May after Moscow suspended export duties, official data showed. FULL STORY

China’s May coal imports rise 11% on lower domestic output

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

China’s imports of coal rose 11% in May from a year earlier, customs data and Reuters records showed on Friday, as lower domestic output this year led to increased shipments of international coal. FULL STORY


Severe drought forces corn farmers in China’s east to delay planting

Source: Tridge

After weeks of scorching heat and little rain, farmer Zhang Yunjing had no choice but to collect water from a waste waterpipe to irrigate her parched corn field in China’s eastern Shandong province.  FULL STORY

China expects another bumper summer grain harvest

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

China expects to see another bumper summer grain harvest this year, a spokesperson from the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday. FULL STORY

China’s corn production expected to exceed demand in ten years: CNGOIC Director

Source: SP Global

The Chinese government is taking active steps to bridge the gap between the country’s production and consumption of corn, eliminating reliance on imports, Li Shengjun, director of the monitoring and prediction department at China’s national grain and oils information center, said at the International Grains Conference June 12. FULL STORY

China May soy imports from US soar; Brazil arrivals drop for first time this year

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

China’s soybean imports from the U.S. accelerated in May with a 156% surge from a year earlier, data showed on Thursday, while supplies from Brazil shrank for the first time this year amid flooding disruption in the South American country. FULL STORY

China increases imports of Russian grain

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

In May 2024, China imported 141 thousand tons of grain and flour from Russia (worth $33 million), which is 2.9 times more than in the same month last year. FULL STORY

U.S. soybean imports to China from the U.S. accelerated in May, up 156% from a year earlier

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

China’s soybean imports to China from the United States accelerated in May, rising 156 percent from a year earlier, data showed Thursday, while shipments from Brazil fell for the first time this year due to flooding in that South American country. FULL STORY

Canadian barley has opportunity in China

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

Canadian barley growers might have a window of opportunity to regain some lost market share in China, says an analyst. FULL STORY

Malaysia banks on China’s love of mala hotpot to spice up palm oil exports

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

Malaysia’s palm oil industry is hoping to get a fresh kick from China’s insatiable appetite for mala hotpot as the world’s second-largest producer of the vegetable oil looks to diversify markets for a sector that faces possible sanctions under deforestation rules imposed by the European Union. FULL STORY

China in May bought the minimum amount of corn in 2024

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

According to the General Administration of Customs of the country (GACC), China imported 1.05 mln tonnes of corn in May, down 11% compared to the previous month, Reuters reports. FULL STORY

China may increase grain imports due to drought

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

Drought is expected to drop China’s wheat and corn output, which could lead to increased imports from the nation that hasn’t made major purchases recently due to oversupply and declining consumption, Bloomberg reported, citing BOABC, a China-based agriculture consultancy. FULL STORY


China’s LNG imports set to slow: Kemp

Source: Zawya

China appears to have taken advantage of low prices in the spot market so far in 2024 to boost the amount of gas in storage, absorbing some of the extra fuel that would otherwise have been sent to Europe. FULL STORY

Ample power supply, high LNG prices curb China’s summer gas demand

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

China’s natural gas demand at the start of this year’s summer season has been muted due mainly to sufficient power supply including hydropower, coal and renewables, as well as higher Asian LNG spot prices, market sources and analysts said. FULL STORY

China nears peak gasoil demand as LNG-fueled heavy duty truck sales surge

Source: Market News

China either already has, or is close to reaching peak gasoil demand as growing sales of LNG-fueled heavy-duty trucks displace conventional diesel-powered trucks, signaling fuel switching in a key area of downstream demand for petroleum fuels and emissions reductions through deeper penetration of natural gas in road transportation, according to market sources and analysts at S&P Global Commodity Insights. FULL STORY

LNG is not displacing coal in China’s power mix

Source: IEEFA

One of the most common arguments to justify investments in liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure and promote consumption globally is that LNG provides a “bridge” to clean energy by displacing carbon-intensive coal usage. Proponents often point to China — the world’s largest coal consumer and LNG importer — as a key example of where LNG can supplant coal-fired generation, while life-cycle assessments associated with natural gas and LNG typically focus on coal displacement in the power sector. FULL STORY

China completes its largest LNG storage base

Source: Xin Hua

A subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has completed the construction of China’s largest LNG storage base, a move that aims to ensure energy security and support green growth in the Yangtze River economic belt. FULL STORY

China to dominate global ethylene capacity additions by 2030, says GlobalData

Source: Global Data

China is set to drive global ethylene capacity additions, occupying a share of 35% by 2030, as both demand and supply of ethylene are expected to grow in the country, according to Global Data, a leading data and analytics company. FULL STORY

Middle distillates complex seen holding steady despite weak China exports in July

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

Chinese refiners are likely to export 3.19 million mt of clean oil products in July, down from an estimated 3.72 million mt in June, though the decline is unlikely to boost the Asian middle distillates complex as volatile arbitrage economics offset the recent uptick in refinery margins, industry sources said. FULL STORY

China’s natural gas output maintains steady growth

Source: Xin Hua

China’s production of natural gas has maintained steady expansion in the first five months of 2024, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Monday. FULL STORY

China’s natural gas consumption up 11.9 pct in January-April

Source: Xin Hua

China’s natural gas consumption saw strong growth in the first four months of 2024, with the country intensifying its green development efforts, official data showed. FULL STORY

China’s crude oil output rises in January-May

Source: Xin Hua

China’s crude oil output expanded in the first five months of this year, official data showed. FULL STORY

China quietly speeds up oil production to reach peak levels

Source: Hellenic Shipping news

Iron Man Wang Jinxi, a heroic Chinese oil pioneer, famously jumped into a pit of drilling mud to stop a well blowout. A key figure in the discovery of Daqing, China’s biggest oilfield, Wang died in 1970. Less dramatically, but importantly, the Chinese oil industry has been revived and, since 2018, turned around years of decline. FULL STORY

Surge in ship orders ups China’s foreign trade

Source: China Daily

Amid rising global demand, technological progress and new international environmental regulations, market watchers and shipbuilders predict that China’s shipbuilding industry will contribute significantly to the country’s foreign trade this year. FULL STORY