8 Out 10 Capesize Bulkers Head For China When Leaving Australia

3,016 voyages performed by 940 Capesize ships are the numbers from Australian exports to China during the first eight months of 2020. A total of 899 voyages were destined for other nations, with South Korea and Japan-bound voyages accounting for 636 of them, according to VesselsValue.

Australian dry bulk commodity exports using Capesize ships, is now more biased than ever towards China as 8 out of 10 departures set course for China. During the first eight months of 2019, ‘only’ 7 out of 10 Capesize ships leaving Australia were heading for China.

“Growing it’s imports from Australia by 38.7 million MT and more than 200 voyages from January through August is outstanding, even for China. Mainly because all other destinations had trade falling by 37.3 million MT as COVID-19 hit demand hard worldwide.

Growing trade tensions between Australia and China don’t seem to have affected Capesize shipping significantly negatively so far”, says BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst, Peter Sand.

27% of the total Capesize market in H1-2020 relied on Australian exports, when measured in tonne-miles. That is up from 24.5% in H1-2019.

“While the total cargo volume and number of voyages were almost unchanged, total tonne-miles fell by 1.7%, as 5,600 nautical miles into India is swapped for 3,400 nautical miles into China

Amongst the mid-sized export destinations, India and the Netherlands stand out as long distance destinations where imports have fallen by 22% and 29% respectively.”

“A development like this causes congestion at discharge ports, compensating somewhat for the lost sailing distances,” Sand says.