Bulk Shipping Watch Newsletter – October 2023

October 2023

Iron Ore & Steel

Australian enterprises eye business revival in China as bilateral ties see ‘warming’ trends

Source: Global Times

After having eagerly awaited the resolution of the trade disputes, Australian businesses, including wine exporters, are now actively strategizing their reconnection with the Chinese market, hoping to swiftly emerge from a pretty long period of sluggish performance. FULL STORY

China-Australia trade sees 10.2% growth in first nine months driven by continuous recovery trend

Source: Global Times

China-Australia trade relations have seen a continuous positive trend, with the first nine months witnessing a 10.2 percent year-on-year growth in trade volume, while the momentum has been quickly restored to business activities on both sides, an expert view as a promising indicator for the two major trading partners. FULL STORY

China Focus: BRI creates opportunities for global mining cooperation

Source: Hellenic shipping news

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has created vast growth potential in the mining sector, with a range of joint projects and cooperation agreements realized over the past decade, according to experts and officials attending the 25th China Mining Conference and Exhibition in north China’s Tianjin Municipality. FULL STORY

Brazilian mining giant cheered by demand from China

Source: China Daily

Brazilian mining company Vale, the world’s largest producer and exporter of iron, said Friday it was optimistic about product demand from China, its main market, and confident of Brazil’s ability to export higher quality iron. FULL STORY

China’s steel output cuts remain too small to buoy steel markets

Source: Hellenic shipping news

China’s daily crude steel output retreated in mid-October with Chinese steelmakers under growing pressure amid poor sales margins. However, in the absence of government-mandated production cut orders, China’s overall reductions in steel output remained too small to boost steel prices. FULL STORY

Industry association sees steel demand recovering in 4th quarter

Source: China Daily

Steel demand may recover in the fourth quarter, potentially shifting the market dynamic from oversupply to improved balance, the China Iron and Steel Association said. It attributed its optimism to growth-stabilizing policies and rising demand from fields like new energy vehicles and solar energy. FULL STORY

China was top finished steel exporter to India in April-Sept -govt data

Source: Hellenic shipping news

China was the top exporter of finished steel to India in the first six months of the fiscal year that began in April, according to provisional Indian government data seen by Reuters. FULL STORY

Baosteel expects infrastructure to strongly support China’s steel demand in Q4 and 2024

Source: Hellenic shipping news

Baoshan Steel 600019.SS said on Wednesday it expected China’s steel demand to find strong support from both traditional and new infrastructure sectors in the last quarter of this year and in the coming year, supported by the latest stimulus. FULL STORY


China’s coal production up 3% in first three quarters

Source: China Daily

China’s output of raw coal went up 3 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of this year, official data showed. The country produced 3.44 billion tons of raw coal during the period, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. FULL STORY

China’s Sept Australian coal imports dip from 2-yr high

Source: World Ports

China’s coal imports from Australia dropped in September from a two-year peak in August, as tepid demand and weak domestic prices discouraged utilities from seeking additional supplies from overseas. Arrivals from Australia totalled 4.9 million metric tons last month, down from 6.69 million tons in August, which was the highest level since July 2020, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Friday. FULL STORY

China’s Shanxi raises coalbed methane output to meet winter heating demand

Source: China Daily

North China’s coal-rich province of Shanxi has stepped up coalbed methane production to meet rising energy demand for winter heating. In September, the province extracted 940 million cubic meters of coalbed methane, setting a new monthly record, according to the provincial statistics bureau. FULL STORY

Record-High Production And Rising Imports Depress Coal Prices In China

Source: Oil Price

The price of coal in China is falling. The trend has been enabled by record-high production of the hydrocarbon fuel at home as well as rising imports. Per Bloomberg, this means that the winter is unlikely to bring with it power crunches like the ones seen in the past when shortages of fuel for power plants caused outages. FULL STORY


Monthly tonnes of grain from Brazil to China with Panamax vessel class surpassed volumes of the previous years

Source: WWSA

The last week of October witnessed a downward trend in the Capesize freight market momentum, while the smaller vessel segments experienced a relative flat momentum. Meanwhile, the grain flows from Brazil to China with the Panamax vessel class recorded a significant surge in October that supported a firmer momentum for Panamax vessel freight rates (as envisaged in the image above). FULL STORY

China, US firms sign farm purchase deals ‘worth billions,’ showing goodwill in restoring bilateral ties

Source: Global Times

A delegation of Chinese enterprises on Monday signed 11 agriculture purchase contracts with US exporters worth billions of dollars, one of the few mass signings since the US initiated a trade war against China in 2018. Observers said that the constructive move shows the Chinese side’s goodwill in restoring bilateral relations. FULL STORY

Ocean freight rates for US grain drop in third quarter


Ocean freight rates for shipping grain from the US Gulf and Pacific Northwest dropped in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter and from a year ago, according to the Oct. 26 Grain Transportation Report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). FULL STORY

China snaps up Australian, French wheat as crop damage spurs buying spree

Source: Hellenic shipping news

China is set to import record volumes of wheat this year, trading sources say, with rain damage to its crop and worries over dry weather in exporting nations fuelling Beijing’s appetite to buy while prices are low. FULL STORY

China’s annual grain output expected to hit new high, remain above 650b kg for 9th consecutive year: official

Source: Global Times

China’s annual grain output is expected to hit a record high in 2023, with a total of more than 1.3 trillion jin (650 billion kg) for the ninth consecutive year, while the output for the autumn harvest is set to increase, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Monday, assuring the nation’s food security.  FULL STORY

Rising animal feed demand boosts China’s soybean imports

Source: nutriNews

Soybean imports by China in July surged due to demand for animal feed and larger shipments from Brazil. According to official data, China witnessed a nearly 25% rise in soybean imports in July compared to the previous year. This growth was primarily fueled by heightened demand from the world’s leading buyer, particularly for animal feed purposes. Notably, a significant portion of these imports originated from Brazil. FULL STORY

China increases imports and processing of soybeans and cancels purchase agreements

Source: UkrAgroConsult

According to the China National Grain and Oil Information Center (CNGOIC), during October 19-25, China increased the volume of soybean processing by 29% to 2 mln tonnes compared to the previous week, which is 27% higher than the corresponding figure in 2022. FULL STORY

China imported a record volume of oilseeds in 2022/23 MY

Source: UkrAgroConsult

Despite some slowdown of oilseeds imports by China in September this year to 7.8 mln tonnes, according to the experts of Oil Word (Germany), in 2022/23 MY (October-September) the imports reached the record 109.9 mln tonnes. FULL STORY

China Wheat Imports Could Set Record This Year

Source: Farm Policy

Reuters writers Naveen Thukral and Dominique Patton reported yesterday that, “China is set to import record volumes of wheat this year, trading sources say, with rain damage to its crop and worries over dry weather in exporting nations fuelling Beijing’s appetite to buy while prices are low. “Traders said China’s frantic buying is likely to support global prices, which have dropped more than a quarter this year – based on the Chicago futures benchmark price – amid abundant supplies from top exporter Russia.” FULL STORY


China deploys 1st self-developed offshore gas turbine generator for drilling platforms

Source: Global Times

China’s first self-developed offshore gas turbine power generator Taihang-7 entered operation in the sea area 180 kilometers southeast of Shenzhen, South China’s Guangdong Province, demonstrating another breakthrough in the country’s offshore equipment development, China Media Group (CMG) reported on Sunday. FULL STORY

LNG deals ramp up amid green transition

Source: China Daily

China has been stepping up its natural gas purchases as well as facilitating construction in recent years, as part of efforts to ensure sufficient energy supply amid its green transition, said industry experts. The country is looking to sign more deals to avoid future shortages and reduce dependence on spot deliveries, with 33 percent of global long-term liquefied natural gas volumes going to China, according to Bloomberg’s calculations. FULL STORY

China Retains Crude Oil Import “Crown”

Source: Hellenic shipping news

China remains the biggest importer of crude oil in the world, marginally ahead of the E.U. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Banchero Costa said that “China’s crude oil imports so far has been another positive period for crude oil trade, despite the high oil prices and risks of economic recession. FULL STORY

China draws on crude oil stockpiles while boosting refining

Source: Hellenic shipping news

Chinese refiners dipped into crude stockpiles for the second time in three months in September as they processed record volumes of oil even as imports dipped. Refiners drew about 240,000 barrel per day (bpd) from inventories in September, a sharp reversal from August when they added about 1.32 million bpd to storage tanks. FULL STORY

Russia aims to boost LNG sales, trade with China via NSR, Novak says

Source: Hellenic shipping news

Russia wants to increase trade with China via the Northern Sea Route (NSR) and become its top supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday. President Vladimir Putin visited China this week and invited global investment in the NSR which he said could deepen trade between east and west. FULL STORY

China’s Foran Energy to sign 20-year LNG deal with Cheniere

Source: Natural Gas World

Chinese natural gas distribution company Foran Energy Group Co Ltd 002911.SZ on Monday said it plans to sign a 20-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) purchase agreement with U.S. company Cheniere Energy Inc LNG.A. FULL STORY


Source: Natural Gas World

In terms of pipeline gas imports, China received 4.46mn tonnes in September, indicating a 4.9% yr/yr growth. Chinese LNG imports in September came in at 5.69mn tonnes, down 2.8% year/year. FULL STORY

PetroChina’s Jan-Sep natural gas imports incur $500 million loss as costs rise

Source: Natural Gas World

State-run PetroChina incurred a net loss of Yuan 3.2 billion (around $500 million) in its imported natural gas business over the first three quarters of 2021 due to higher import costs and rising crude oil prices, and losses are likely to mount further in coming quarters, the national oil company said in its third quarter results briefing Oct. 29. FULL STORY

CHINA INDEPENDENT OIL REFINERIES: Shandong faces stalled and sunk investments

Source: S&P Global

S&P Global Commodity Insights made its first visit to these refiners in 2012 when they were little known, and barring a break during the COVID-19 lockdown, our team visited the refiners every year from 2014 until 2019. We resumed our visit in the summer of this year, during which we spent five days visiting Qingdao, Dongying, Binzhou, and Zibo, meeting senior officials with nine independent refineries, four trading houses, and the Qingdao port authority. These trips have allowed us to capture the rise in their influence and sway over the international and domestic oil markets in their heydays to a more recent turn in fortunes as the government disavows them in favor of larger, integrated plants. FULL STORY

China’s Zhoushan jumps to 4th place in global ship bunker port rankings

Source: Xin Hua

The port of Zhoushan secured fourth place in the 2022 global bunker port rankings at the International Petroleum Enterprise Conference (IPEC) 2023, which opened on Wednesday in Zhoushan, east China’s Zhejiang Province. FULL STORY