Chinese shipping companies Cosco Group, China Merchants Group and ICBC Financial Leasing Co. are reported to have stacked up orders for 30 Valemax ore carriers worth a total of USD 2.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal writes.
The trio is said to have ordered 10 ships respectively at local yards, namely Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, Beihai Shipbuilding, CIC Jiangsu and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding. The move will definitely help lift Chinese shipbuilding orderbook which has been badly hit by the ordering slump, especially in the dry bulk sector.
The 30-strong Valemax fleet is slated for completion and delivery in 2018.
According to brokers in Singapore and London, cited by WSJ, the Valemaxes will give Chinese carriers control of about 30% of total iron-ore imports into the country in terms of volume, keeping freight rates under control for years.
The move follows the lifting of China’s ban on the very large ore carriers from calling its ports that was carried out in July, 2015 after three years of prohibition.
China’s economy has been dictating the market developments in the dry bulk shipping and the recent shifts which caused a slowdown in imports aided further to the collapse in freight rates in 2015 that dropped to historical lows this year.
World Maritime News Staff