Report: Up to 500 Bulkers Stuck at Asian Major Coal Ports

Between 400 and 500 large dry bulk carriers are waiting to unload coal in Chinese waters as congestion at Asian coal ports builds up, according to the data from Thomson Reuters Erikson.

The ships are said to be idling outside Shanghai, Ningbo and in the Gulf of Zhili, serving the ports of Tianjin, Coafeidian, Qinhuangdao and Bayuquan.

The figure has jumped sharply from over 100 loaded ships that were reported to be stationary off the southern and eastern coasts of China as at October 31, as informed by Platts back in November 2017.

Delays have also been reported at ports in Indonesia’s Kalimantan island as a result of huge rainfall.

Specifically, around 100 bulkers, predominantly located at Samarinda and Taboneo, are pending loading of their cargo, Reuters reported, with some of them waiting for over two months.

The bottlenecks were reported first at the beginning of 2017 and are spilling over into the new year.

The delays and congestion have seen coal prices shoot up supported by the insatiable appetite for the commodity from China and India.

The surge in idle vessel numbers comes on the back of the introduction of restrictions on coal imports at a number of China’s major ports, including Guangzhou, Xiamen and Zhoushan, in late August.

Tough market conditions are likely to persist until the Chinese New Year in February.

World Maritime News Staff

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