Misery piled on misery for dry bulk owners in January as spot and time charter rates reached new lows. Demand plummeted for a majority of dry cargoes and in the iron ore markets, a temporary hiatus in activity at Tubarao briefly dented Brazilian exports, whilst Australian exports were curtailed by weather disruptions during the cyclone season.
The beginning of the year is typically marked by a spike in recorded vessel deliveries, and January 2016 was no exception. Deliveries surged to 7.2 million dwt, more than double average monthly deliveries during 2015. This was partly offset by a jump in vessels scrapped to 4.6 m dwt, the largest total since 5.6 million dwt was demolished in April 2015.
Positive news is limited to the demand side and centered around strong expectations for grains exports from Latin America. The International Grains Council forecasts a year-on-year increase of 14 percent in the 2015/16 crop year, the impact of which will be concentrated in Q2 and likely to magnified by technical factors.
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