In a move that is anticipated to increase Beijing’s control over iron ore shipments from Brazil and boost demand, Chinese shipping giants COSCO, China Merchants Group and ICBC Financial Leasing Company have ordered 30 Valemax vessels, valued at a total of US$2.5 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Valemax vessels are around 360 metres long and are capable of carrying up to 400,000DWT (deadweight tonnes).
Valemax ships were originally commissioned by Brazilian mining company to move iron ore from Brazil to European and Asian ports.
PTI has previously reported that iron ore at China’s ports is to reach more than 90 million tonnes, and the Valemax’s will be a key asset to the world’s biggest exporter.
Basil Karatzas, Maritime Adviser of Karatzas Martine said: “Despite the collapse in the dry bulk market, the Chinese are ordering new vessels to effectively control iron-ore freight rates over the next 10 years or so.
“This will put more pressure on dozens of independent ship owners struggling to cope with record low freight rates.”