China's steel output hits record, but dry bulk market still suffers

Overview

Strong data from China support Capesize bulkers the most, as general market conditions slowly improve

China's average daily crude steel output hit a record 2.29 million tonnes in April, as steel mills lifted production to meet seasonal demand, though signs of weakness in factory output and the property sector could feed through later in the year.

Steel demand in China, traditionally improves in Q2 as Construction and manufacturing pick as weather improves.

April's crude steel output of 68.84 million tonnes was below the record high of 70.25 million tonnes in March, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics.

Chief Shipping Analyst at BIMCO, Peter Sand, says: "Despite the encouraging data from China, the dry bulk market is currently weaker than expected. Chinese iron ore demand has helped, primarly in the Capesize segment (currently at USD 11,228 per day), whereas the smaller segments suffered more significantly from a soft patch in demand and fundamental oversupply"

Last week, China reported imports of 83.39 million tonnes of iron ore in April. The amount is the second highest monthly figure on record, second only to January 2014 (86.8 mt)

Iron ore imports in the first four months of 2014 were 305.3 million tonnes, up 21% year-on-year.

"BIMCO expects the market to improve steadily going forward, as tonnage demand, first and foremost in the Atlantic basin, picks up. Our demand expectations for the full year remain unchanged", adds Peter Sand

in Copenhagen, DK

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