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Market uncertainty due to slowdown in China
Record high influx of capacity burdens market
Record oil demand amplifies market strength
Stronger dry bulk market outlook but recovery is fragile
Weakened supply/demand balance challenges liner operators
Strong tanker markets as oil consumption reaches record high
The trade war continues to rage in the shade of the headline-grabbing supply chain disruptions. The tariffs are still in place and are unlikely to go anywhere despite the change of administration in the United States.
Recovering demand for US oil products has caused a 25.9% rise in US seaborne imports of oil products in the first seven months of 2021 compared to 2020, with imports so far this year totalling 26.1m tonnes.
New virus mutations and outbreaks have slowed the recovery in global oil demand as some countries lock down again and international travel remains complicated.
Unequal vaccine distribution has put a stopper in the recovery in parts of the world, adding to supply chain disruptions and slowing growth even in countries protected by higher vaccination rates. In a globalised world, no one can return to normal before everyone can.
Heading into the seasonally strongest part of the year, dry bulk owners have already enjoyed a very profitable year with the temporary factors helping the market stay strong expected to continue providing support into 2022.
As ports and hinterland transport struggle to keep up, delays at ports are soaking up capacity leading to frustration on the shippers’ side and leaving carriers struggling to keep up all the while making record profits.
What’s not to like about 2021 for container shipping?
Throughout the first half of the year, talk of a new dry bulk super cycle has been on many lips as commodity prices have soared to multi-year highs.
Global shipyards are under pressure and 2021 is turning out to bring the third lowest level of newbuilding orders in 12 years, despite new orders for containerships currently at a 14-year high.
The container and dry bulk shipping industries are breaking new records left, right and centre it appears, resulting in dry bulk owners enjoying unseasonably high profits, and container shipping carriers and tonnage providers delivering record high profits.