Bulk Shipping Watch Newsletter – May 2024

May 2024

Iron Ore & Steel

Iron ore slides to over six-week low amid weakening China demand

Source: Shipping Herald

Iron ore futures prices slipped to their lowest levels in more than six weeks on Monday, as signs of weakening steel demand in top consumer China broadly weighed on sentiment. FULL STORY

Australia orders Chinese investors to sell down stake in rare earths miner

Source: Mining

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers has ordered several China-linked investors to dispose of shares in rare earths miner Northern Minerals on national interest grounds, a spokesperson said on Monday. FULL STORY

China’s iron ore supply to rise by up to 10 mln tons in 2024, steel association says

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

China’s domestic iron ore concentrate output in 2024 will rise between 5 million and 10 million metric tons from the year before, its state-backed steel association said on Friday. FULL STORY

China’s 2024 iron ore imports similar to last year – Vale

Source: Mining

Imports of iron ore by China, the world’s biggest buyer, in 2024 are expected to be around 1.17 to 1.18 billion metric tons, similar to last year’s 1.18 billion tons, a senior official of miner Vale said on Wednesday. FULL STORY

China April aluminium output rises 7.2% y/y to 3.58 mln tons

Source: Trading Views

China’s primary aluminium production climbed 7.2% to 3.58 million metric tons in April from a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Friday. FULL STORY

China April crude steel output down 7.2% y/y at 85.94 mln metric tons – stats bureau

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

China produced 85.94 million metric tons of crude steel in April, down 7.2%from the year before, the statistics bureau said on Friday. FULL STORY

China’s push for greener aluminium hit by erratic rains, power cuts

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

Erratic rainfall in China’s southwest is frustrating a multibillion-dollar push to green an aluminium industry that accounts for almost 60% of global output and, by some estimates, emits more carbon dioxide than Australia. FULL STORY

China April copper imports fall as price rally saps demand

Source: Market Screener

China’s unwrought copper imports in April fell 7.6%from the prior month, customs data showed on Thursday, as a surge in global prices dampened buying appetite. FULL STORY

China iron ore imports likely at peak, demand composition to shift

Source: Hellenic Shipping

China’s demand for imported iron ore has most likely peaked, but the composition of future imports are likely to shift as the world’s biggest steel producer seeks to decarbonise. FULL STORY

US tariffs will hold limited effect on China’s steel industry

Source: China Daily

The recent decision by the United States to impose additional tariffs on certain Chinese products, including steel, is unlikely to significantly impact the relevant industries in China, said the trade body China Iron and Steel Association on Thursday. FULL STORY


MET COAL SERIES: India, China demand to widen Australia’s lead as top coking coal exporter

Source: SP Global

This five-part story series examines the coking coal market from a few angles. This first part focuses on India’s rising importance in spot markets. The second part visualizes the nation’s meteoric rise in met coal demand, the third examines Australia’s continued dominance as an exporter, the fourth examines Chinese demand, while the fifth explores how US exports hinge on the growth of Asia’s blast furnace capacity. FULL STORY

China’s coal-rich province reports coalbed methane output growth

Source: China Daily

China’s coal-rich province of Shanxi extracted 4.16 billion cubic meters of coalbed methane in the first four months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 13.7 percent, according to the provincial energy administration. FULL STORY

Chinese coal group cuts 2024 output forecast

Source: Market Screener

The deputy chairman of the China Coal Transportation and Distribution Association (CCTD) told a seminar on Wednesday that annual output growth would be in a range of -1% to 1% this year, having previously forecast expansion of 1%. FULL STORY

China’s April coal output falls to lowest level since Oct 2022

Source: Mining Weekly

China’s coal production in April fell to its lowest level since Oct 2022, statistics bureau data and Reuters records showed on Friday, as weak pricing and continued close monitoring of mine safety conditions curbed output. FULL STORY

Coking coal slides to more than 1-month low on prospects of rising supply

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

Prices of coking coal futures tumbled by more than 3% on Tuesday to their lowest in more than one month, dragged by the anticipation of growing supply from the top production hub in China. FULL STORY

China April coal imports rise on lower domestic output, summer restocks

Source: Mining Weekly

China’s coal imports rose in April, customs data showed on Thursday, fuelled by lower domestic production and greater buying by power generators to swell stockpiles ahead of the peak summer demand season. FULL STORY

Coal stocks decline at QHD and other N China ports

Source: SX Coal

Coal inventories at China’s major transshipment port of Qinhuangdao dipped significantly to below 5 million tonnes last week as offtakes were boosted by rising coal burns at power plants at a time. FULL STORY

China to take action for energy conservation, carbon reduction

Source: GOV.

The State Council issued an action plan for energy conservation and carbon reduction during 2024-25, according to a circular released on May 29. In order to actively and steadily achieve carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals and promote the comprehensive green transformation of economic and social development, the circular said that in 2024, energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP will decrease by about 2.5 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively. FULL STORY


China approves first gene-edited wheat in step to open up GM tech to food crops

Source: Tridge

China has given the green light for the commercial growing of gene-edited wheat, marking a milestone in the country’s cautious embrace of genetically modified (GM) food crops.  FULL STORY

New tech may reduce reliance on soybean imports

Source: China Daily

China has in recent years adopted a mix of methods to reduce its reliance on imported soybeans, a crucial raw material for making animal feed, such as through crop rotation and the deployment of higher-yield varieties. FULL STORY

Vietnam firms aim to boost agricultural exports to China by rail

Source: The Star

Businesses are boosting farm exports to China by rail, thanks to it being quick, cheaper and a more reliable form of transport. FULL STORY

US soy exporters off to worst new-crop start in 23 years amid China’s absence

Source: Market Screener

The upcoming U.S. soybean harvest is expected to approach record levels, but exporters had sold practically none of it as of last week, a typical time when new-crop sales may start to roll in. FULL STORY

Global soya bean exports expected to grow 8% until 2025

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

“Global soya bean exports are forecast to grow by 8% between 2023 and 2025 based on data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Stronger import demand from China will be met by larger harvests in the US and Brazil and in the near term, soya beans are expected to be a key growth driver for global grain shipments,” says Filipe Gouveia, Shipping Analyst at BIMCO. FULL STORY

China April soybean imports jump 18% to record high for the month

Source: Tridge

China’s soybean imports in April jumped 18% from a year earlier, data showed on Thursday, as buyers snapped up cheap and plentiful Brazilian beans from the South American producer while it was wrapping up its harvest season. FULL STORY

China’s grain storage capacity exceeds 700 mln tonnes by end of 2023

Source: Xin Hua

China’s continued construction of grain warehouses, including green facilities, brought the national grain storage capacity to over 700 million tonnes by the end of 2023, an increase of 36 percent from 2014, according to an official of the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration. FULL STORY

China “stops” grain imports from Kazakhstan

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

Kazakhstan’s wheat exports to China are breaking records. Over the past five years, Kazakhstan’s producers have sent about 3.5 million tons of crop products to China. The Government of Kazakhstan believes that the export potential for grain is 10 million tons per year. However, problems on the Chinese side are hindering exports, reports the agency “APK Novosti”. FULL STORY

Brazil increased soybean exports to China by 72% since the beginning of the year

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

China last month purchased in Brazil about 5.92 million tons of soybeans, which is 11.7% higher than in April 2023, according to data from the General Administration of Customs of China. It is noted that shipments increased amid competitive prices for the South American oilseed. FULL STORY

China reduced sugar imports by almost 28%

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

According to the General Administration of Customs (GACC), in April, sugar imports to China decreased by 27.5% compared to the same period last year and amounted to 50 thousand tons, which is 10 thousand tons more than in March 2024. During the first four months of this year, sugar imports to China amounted to 1.26 million tons. FULL STORY

China Hopes GM Corn and Wheat Will Decrease Import Reliance

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

China’s government approved genetically modified wheat and corn varieties for domestic cultivation last week, marking a step forward in becoming a global advocate for crop genetic modification, reports The Western Producer. FULL STORY


Developed large LNG carrier launched in NE China’s harbor city

Source: Xin Hua

A domestically developed liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier with a payload capacity of 175,000 cubic meters was launched on Monday in northeast China’s harbor city of Dalian. FULL STORY

LNG imports may hit record in 2024

Source: China Daily

Fueled by strong demand from the industrial sector amid an economic recovery and industrial decarbonization, China’s liquefied natural gas imports could hit a record in 2024, company executives and experts said. FULL STORY

China takes step in becoming LNG carrier global leader

Source: China Daily

The world’s first fifth-generation 174,000-cubic-meter LNG vessel was named and delivered on Wednesday in Shanghai, facilitating China’s transformation from an industrial follower into a leader in liquefied natural gas carrier sector, according to the Shanghai-based shipyard. FULL STORY

Mozambique strikes key oil deals with Chinese firm

Source: Xin Hua

Mozambique’s government and National Hydrocarbon Company on Thursday signed petroleum exploration and production concession contracts with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) for five offshore blocks. FULL STORY

Sinopec unveiled first renovated filling station in Sri Lanka

Source: Xin Hua

Sinopec Lanka Energy (Pvt) Ltd inaugurated its first renovated filling station at a re-opening ceremony in Trans Lanka Filling Station, Nawagamuwa, marking the first appearance of Sinopec’s brand image in the South Asian terminal retail market. FULL STORY

CHINA DATA: May crude throughput unlikely to rebound amid maintenance, weak demand

Source: SP Global

Crude throughputs at China’s refineries are less likely to see a strong recovery in May from a four-month-low in April, amid heavy refinery maintenance coupled with weak demand for oil products, refinery sources told S&P Global Commodity Insights May 28. FULL STORY

China April refinery output down 3.3% yr/yr, according to stats bureau

Source: Market Screener

China’s national refinery production in April fell 3.3% on year to 58.79 million metric tons, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday. FULL STORY

Chinese companies win licensing bids to explore Iraq oil and gas fields

Source: Reuters

Chinese companies won bids to explore five Iraqi oil and gas fields on Saturday in a licensing round for hydrocarbon exploration that was primarily aimed at ramping up gas production for domestic use. FULL STORY

China shale oil demonstration project reaches record output in Q1

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

Production at China’s first national level shale oil demonstration project reached a record of 215,000 metric tons, or 2,800 tons per day, CCTV said. FULL STORY

Asia Distillates-Trading liquidity slow; China June export plan emerges

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

Asia’s middle distillates markets started the week little changed amid slower trading activity as traders mulled June and July demand-supply fundamentals, with China majors likely to keep exports unchanged next month. FULL STORY

Oil recovers on US crude storage draw, rise in China imports

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

Oil prices rose on Thursday as falling U.S. crude inventories and higher Chinese imports supported expectations for demand growth in the world’s two largest crude-consuming nations. FULL STORY

Inchcape Shipping Services launches OneCape DA: Beyond DA Management

Source: Hellenic Shipping news

Inchcape Shipping Services, a global leader in port agency and maritime services with over 177 years of maritime experience, introduces OneCape DA, an independent specialist disbursement account management solution designed to navigate the operational complexities of port calls, freeing customers to focus on their strategic priorities. Our expert team manages all aspects of disbursement accounts, ensuring clients only pay what is necessary. We understand the maritime industry, its network, and players, ensuring disbursement savings do not come at the expense of operational success. FULL STORY

MOL Holds Naming Ceremony for Newbuilding LNG Carrier Greenergy Ocean to Serve China National Offshore Oil Corporation – First in Series of 6 Newbuilding LNG Carriers

Source: Hellenic Shipping news

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Takeshi Hashimoto) today announced that on May 15, it held a naming ceremony for a newbuilding LNG carrier, the Greenergy Ocean, for CNOOC Gas & Power Singapore Trading & Marketing Pte., wholly-owned by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd. (Hudong). FULL STORY