Bulk Shipping Watch Newsletter – November 2023

November 2023

Iron Ore & Steel

China takes aim at ‘illegal activities’ in the iron ore market

Source: City A.M.

The price of iron ore fell 1.2 per cent on Monday morning, to £104.67 ($132.20) per tonne, bringing to a halt five weeks of gains after Chinese officials warned the country may intervene in the market. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Friday it had met with major port operators to discuss iron ore inventory and storage. The NDRC has also cautioned against hype and “illegal activities” in the iron ore market. FULL STORY

China says boosts iron ore concentrate capacity to secure supplies

Source: Trading View

China has added 50 million metric tons of iron ore concentrate capacity from 2022, state media quoted an official at the industry association as saying on Monday, part of a plan to boost production of the key steelmaking ingredient. FULL STORY

China to enhance iron ore supervision at ports in second intervention this week

Source: Hellenic shipping news

China’s state planner said on Friday it would strengthen the supervision of iron ore at ports and guard against hoarding and speculation in order to maintain an orderly market, its second move this week aimed at curbing a price rally. FULL STORY

Source: Hellenic shipping news

Seaborne iron ore prices are set to climb to as much as $150 per ton in the first half of 2024, according to analysts who have lifted their estimates on expectations of increased demand in China after recent stimulus measures. FULL STORY

CISA: China’s domestic iron ore capacity rises by 50 million mt

Source: Steel Orbis

Luo Tiejun, the vice president of the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA), has stated that China ’s domestic iron ore production capacity has increased by around 50 million mt following the launch of the Keystone Program and more than a dozen of major iron ore projects in the country have started construction. FULL STORY

Baosteel’s steel exports likely to exceed five million mt in 2023

Source: Steel Orbis

Major Chinese steelmaker Baosteel has announced that its steel exports in 2023 will likely exceed 5.0 million mt amid the expansion of emerging overseas markets, including Southeast Asia, North Africa, the Middle East and Central and South America. FULL STORY

CISA mills’ daily steel output down 0.08 percent in mid – November

Source: Steel Orbis

The China crude steel output of large and medium-sized steel enterprises in China – all CISA members – totaled 1.9691 million mt, down 0.08 percent compared to early November (November 1-10) this year. FULL STORY

China’s iron ore output up 7.8 percent in January-October

Source: Steel Orbis

In the January-October period this year, China ’s iron ore production amounted to 825.758 million mt, increasing by 7.8 percent year on year, according to China ’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). FULL STORY


Coal stockpiles exceeded record high in China

Source: China Daily

Coal stockpiles of China’s major power plants have exceeded 200 million metric tons, reaching a historic high and enough for 33 days of use, said the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s economic regulator, on Thursday. FULL STORY

China’s thermal coal imports jump, crowding out India

Source: World Energy

China’s imports of thermal coal in November are poised to surge to the second-highest monthly total this year, helping drive prices higher for the grades most commonly sought by the world’s biggest buyer of the power station fuel. FULL STORY

Historic high for China’s coal imports

Source: China Daily

China’s coal imports are expected to reach around 450 million metric tons this year in response to growing demands, marking a historic high for China’s coal imports, said the China National Coal Association on Monday. FULL STORY

China’s coke output up 2.9 percent in January-October

Source: Steel Orbis

In the January-October period this year, China ’s coke output reached 410 million mt, up 2.9 percent year on year, as announced by China ‘s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). FULL STORY


China-Uruguay ties reach new level, to open up new paths for rising cooperation: official

Source: Global Times

China-Uruguay relations have entered a new era, reaching a historic high level while unlocking new possibilities for deepened cooperation, Fernando Mattos Costa, Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries of Uruguay, told the Global Times on Thursday, in an exclusive interview in Beijing. FULL STORY

China inks deals for 110,000 metric tons U.S. SRW wheat in bulk buy

Source: Nasdaq

China purchased more U.S. soft red winter (SRW) wheat this week in the country’s third large-scale purchase of the grain since early October, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Wednesday. FULL STORY

China soybean imports top 100 million tonnes


China imported 100.86 million tonnes of soybeans in marketing year 2022-23 on the strength of Brazilian shipments, and sustained demand from the country’s feed sector is expected to push 2023-24 to similar levels, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture. FULL STORY

French wheat cargoes for China delayed in export setback

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

Several cargoes of French wheat that had been due to load for China in December have been postponed to March, dampening hopes of an imminent upturn in exports and helping push prices to two-year lows. FULL STORY

Annual grain output to set record, as more than 96% of autumn harvest completed in China

Source: Global Times

China has nearly completed its autumn harvest as scheduled, harvesting more than 96 percent of the autumn grain crops so far, despite extreme weather in some regions. Observers said that the figures indicate the timely progression of this year’s autumn harvest, with some foreseeing a consistent increase in grain output. This positive trend is seen as a favorable factor for ensuring the country’s food security.  FULL STORY

Ukraine increases corn exports to China

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

Due to the relative stabilization of deepwater ports, Ukraine has increased its corn exports to China. This was discussed on November 28 during a weekly briefing organized by the analytical center of the agricultural cooperative PUSK, created within the framework of the CAP. FULL STORY

China’s COFCO imports Canadian durum wheat for the first time

Source: Ukr Agro Consult

China’s state-run food group COFCO Group said it had imported Canadian durum wheat for the first time, which it would process into flour. China mainly imports finished pasta or flour processed from durum wheat, COFCO said in a statement. FULL STORY


CNOOC’s oil project operational

Source: China Daily

China National Offshore Oil Corp said on Wednesday that its Payara project, in the Stabroek Block located off the coast of Guyana, has begun production and is expected to extract up to 220,000 barrels of oil per day in 2024. FULL STORY

Sinopec signs a 27-year LNG agreement with Qatar Energy

Source: China Daily

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, also known as Sinopec, signed a 27-year liquefied natural gas supply and purchase agreement with QatarEnergy on Saturday, under which the two parties will cooperate on the second phase of the North Field gas project, which will supply 3 million metric tons of LNG per year to Sinopec. FULL STORY

China’s largest LNG storage goes into operation

Source: China Daily

China’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tank, with a storage capacity of 270,000 cubic meters, was put into operation at Sinopec Qingdao LNG Receiving Terminal on Thursday, said its operator China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, also known as Sinopec. FULL STORY

Asia Distillates-Thin spot activity persists; China’s Dec exports in focus

Source: Hellenic shipping news

Asia’s middle distillates market recorded thin spot market activity overall but a spot physical deal for 10 ppm sulphur gasoil emerged for the first time in three weeks, with mixed expectations on China’s export volumes for December back in focus. FULL STORY

SK earthon Ships First Crude Oil Production from China’s 17/03 Block

Source: Hellenic shipping news

SK earthon, a subsidiary of SK innovation dedicated to resource development, announced on Nov. 22 that it has started the shipment of crude oil produced from the Lufeng 12-3 oil field in Block 17/03 located in the northeastern South China Sea. The production of this crude oil, which commenced in September, marks a significant achievement for SK earthon. FULL STORY

China oil demand growth poised to slow to around 4% in H1 2024 -analysts

Source: Hellenic shipping news

China’s oil demand growth is likely to ease in the first half of 2024 to around 4%, according to consultancies, with resurgent consumption from the aviation and petrochemical sectors offset by weaker diesel usage due to an ongoing property sector crunch. FULL STORY

CNPC Tangshan LNG Terminal Welcomes 472nd LNG Vessel in 10-Year Milestone

Source: Natural Gas World

On November 15, the world’s largest Q-MAX LNG carrier, the Al Dafna from Qatar, docked at the CNPC Tangshan LNG Receiving Terminal, becoming the 472nd LNG vessel to be received by the Tangshan terminal since its commencement and operation in 2013. Loaded with 260,000 cubic meters of LNG, the Al Dafna is to supply LNG to the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region for this year’s winter season. FULL STORY

Qatar signs second supply deal with Sinopec for North Field South expansion

Source: LNG Journal

QatarEnergy has signed a second partnership and supply agreement with China Petroleum and Chemicals Corp. (Sinopec) for Qatar’s North Field South (NFS) expansion project in the Arabian Gulf. Delivery of an additional 3 mtpa of LNG for 27 years has been agreed from the NFS project to Sinopec’s receiving terminals in China. FULL STORY

China to account for almost half of global gas demand growth; IEA says

Source: LNG Journal

Though global gas demand growth slows to 1.6% a year through to 2026, China accounts for almost half of that growth as it increasingly draws on the fuel for power generation and industrial production, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts. Lifting of lockdowns made China’s gas use rise 7%, or 18 billion cubic metres (bcm) in the first three quarters of 2023 while LNG imports jumped nearly 15%. FULL STORY

Gross ocean product increases 5.8% y-o-y from Jan-Sep: Natural Resources Ministry

Source: Global Times

China’s gross ocean product in the first three quarters of 2023 grew by 5.8 percent year-on-year, reaching 7.2 trillion yuan ($1 trillion), showcasing a steady recovery, data from China’s Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) showed on Monday according to preliminary calculations. FULL STORY