Iron ore provides 30% of the demand for the dry bulk market and, during 2016, its related tonne-mile demand went up by 6%. This was the key factor behind the overall demand side growth of 2.2%.
From a crude oil market perspective, 2016 can be summed up as “eventful”. In January, the international sanctions on Iran were lifted, resulting in a very swift increase of their oil production capacities and subsequent re-entry into the global oil export market.
As the lowest level of newbuild containership deliveries since 2004 was combined with record breaking scrapping levels, net inflow of capacity amounted to just 246,000 TEU – a growth rate of 1.2% - probably the lowest ever.
It will not be a surprise if we see another downward revision of GDP growth in 2017...
The container shipping lines received an average rate 7% (42 USD) lower in 2016 than in 2015, if they operated in the spot market on all Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) trade routes. This has primarily been due to the devastating low rates received in the first half of 2016, as the average rate received in H2 2016 was 22% higher than the rate received in H2 2015.
The shipping industry has its work cut out going forward in 2017 as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast the lowest level of global GDP growth since 2009. 2017 will see another year of die-hard competition, which now includes tankers. In 2016, the container shipping industry bit the bullet in terms of demolition and consolidation to help the market to recover. The dry bulk sector needs to copy that approach.