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Dry Bulk Shipping: The Effect of the Trade War

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Author(s): Peter Sand, Chief Shipping Analyst, BIMCO

2018 has delivered as expected. The improved fundamental market conditions in the first three quarters of 2018 have seen the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) rise significantly. BDI is up by 24%, 25% and 41% in Q1, Q2 and Q3, compared to the same time in 2017.

It is unlikely that the BDI will rise higher in Q4. In October 2018, it only improved by 4% compared to October 2017. Furthermore, demand for Capesize is facing headwinds with Chinese iron ore imports down by 0.5% for the first 10 months of 2018, while the Panamax long-haul trade of soya beans from the US Gulf to China is expected to fall well short of 2017’s figures.