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China’s Figures Point Towards Dry Bulk Market’s Resurgence

Data from China this past week, seems to support the positive narrative, regarding a potential swift rebound of the dry bulk market moving forward. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking said that “it has been a slow start to the year for the dry bulk market thus far, albeit that we are only halfway through the first month. The trend seems to be a direct continuation of what we were witnessing during the final months of 2021, while it seems that this trend is in direct correlation with what we have been seeing from the Chinese economy during these months. China’s National Bureau of Statistics revealed this week just how poor this performance has been during these final months of 2021 (though it should be noted that the reported figures did exceed expectations that were expressed by most economists). Gross domestic product grew at its slowest pace since the onset of the pandemic, posting a year-on-year expansion of 4 per cent, a figure far short from the 6.5 percent growth noted over the same period during 2020. In terms of quarteron-quarter growth there was some improvement, with 4Q21 posting an improvement of 1.6 per cent compared to the 0.7 per cent seen in 3Q21.

Source: Allied Shipbroking

According to Allied’s Head of Research & Valuations, Mr. George Lazaridis, “the pressure that has mounted now on the Chinese economy has been considerable, yet most see a fairly quick end in sight to all these troubles of late. This downward trend has been mainly attributed to a trifecta of issues faced, with strong lockdown measures implemented within big cities in recent months, a collapsing real estate market and strict measures to cap pollution levels before the winter Olympics in Beijing, all putting on the breaks hard on the positive momentum that had been seen since the second half of 2020”.

“Yet despite all this there still seems to be ample support for further growth moving forward. We have already started to see some slight easing on the constraints placed on lending after the strict policies placed in 2020 to reduce leverage amongst its largest real estate developers and the private sector as a whole. We have also seen things ease slightly in terms of lockdown measures as the omicron wave eases. At the same time despite all the global supply shocks faced, Chinese exports have boomed by more than 30% year-on-year helping keep industrial production at firm levels. Most are now waiting to see how quickly we will be able to see a reversal in this downward trend of late, with things expected to improve considerably after the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities, compounding on these gains further after the Winter Olympics, with further stimulus likely to be pushed ahead during 2Q22 and 3Q22 in an effort to show strength before President Xi Jinping’s formal endorsement of a third term in 4Q22”, Lazaridis concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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