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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Earnings of smallest bulkers fall to lowest in 33 months

Tuesday, 27 Dec 2011

It is reported that earnings from the world’s smallest commodity ships fell to the lowest level in almost three years as the vessels miss out on a boom in Chinese iron ore demand that buoyed rates for larger carriers.

According to the data from the Baltic Exchange in London Hire costs for Handysizes that haul at most 35,000 tonnes of cargo slid for a 22nd day declining USD 2 to USD 8,389 a day. The ships which move cargoes from grains to lumber are down 31% this year compared with a 57% rally in rates for Capesize carriers that are at least four times bigger and transport iron ore.

Mr Jeffrey Landsberg president of Commodore Research in New York said “China is taking a large amount of iron ore even though the world is still going through significant economic trouble. Handysizes are more susceptible to changes in the developed world.”

According to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg for carriers signaling arrival dates within the next month that 10% of the global fleet of Handysizes is bound for the Asian country compared with 21% of Capesizes. Almost half of the Capesize fleet is sailing for China or for Australia or Brazil, the two largest iron ore exporters compared with 18% of Handysizes.

According to economists’ forecasts compiled by Bloomberg and data from Clarkson Research Services Ltd a unit of the world largest shipbroker China, growing more than three times faster than the global average will import 10% more of the ingredient used in steelmaking this year. While that bolsters demand for both Capesize and Handysizes vessels, the smaller ships have a wider cargo mix, meaning they benefit less.

(Sourced from

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