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World Bulk Carrier Market 2014 (SSMR issue 4)

  • June 2014
  • -
  • Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL
  • -
  • 70 pages

The report (SSMR issue 4) includes detailed statistical information on the bulk carrier fleet as well as dry bulk shipping and trade, including a comment on the latest market developments. In addition, it contains approx. 30 general indicators on maritime economics and transport.

Table Of Contents

World Bulk Carrier Market 2014 (SSMR issue 4)

As we move into 2013, we see a huge overcapacity in the bulk carrier segment. Since 2009, capacity has grown by 60 per cent. The world bulk carrier fleet continued to expand in 2012, but the growth has begun to slow. According to figures provided by Clarkson Research Services Limited (CRSL) the bulk carrier fleet in service has grown by another 11.1 per cent in terms of deadweight tons, compared to 13.7 per cent in 2011 and 17.0 per cent in 2010. 1,154 newbuildings with a combined tonnage of 96 million dwt have been reported delivered in 2012 so far. Removals amounted to 35 million dwt (5.8 per cent of the entire fleet), which marks an all-time high. Meanwhile, the world bulk carrier fleet has topped the 10,000 vessels mark. However, 2012 saw a sharp fall in orders for bulk carriers, about 50 per cent less compared to the previous year. By the beginning of 2013, the bulk carrier order book shrunk to 132 million dwt. It represented about 20 per cent of the fleet in service against 32 per cent one year earlier and 48 per cent at the start of 2011.

1.1 Bulk carrier fleet development

Within four years, bulk carriers have come to dominate the world merchant fleet in terms of deadweight tonnage, clearly surpassing the tanker segment:
- largest fleet segment with a dwt-share of 43.3 per cent
- largest order book with a dwt-share of 53.1 per cent
- 64 per cent of all deliveries in 2012 were bulk carriers in terms of deadweight tonnage.

Bulk carriers contributed nearly two thirds to the world fleet tonnage delivered in 2012 (96 million dwt). With a plus of 11.1 per cent, the dry bulk sector again witnessed a
staggering year-on-year increase (after 13.7 per cent in 2012). At the start of 2013, the total bulk carrier fleet was composed of 10,026 vessels with a capacity of about 667
million dwt. In the past year, 280 Capesize carriers were delivered into an already overtonnaged market. Meanwhile, about the half of the fleet capacity belongs to
vessels in this segment.Further fleet development trends can be summarised as follows:

- Deliveries of new bulk tonnage amounted to 96 million dwt during 2012, after the historical 98 million a year earlier. The average volume of deliveries during
the busy last five years amounted to roughly 79 million dwt per year.
- Between 2009 and 2013, the bulk carrier fleet expanded on average by 12.6 per cent per year in terms of deadweight tonnage and the number of carriers by 7.6 per cent.
- The average ship size of the new deliveries in 2012 was about 83,000 dwt.
- Over the last 12 months, the Capesize fleet (over 85,000 dwt) has increased by 13 per cent in dwt, whereas the Panamax fleet (60-85,000 dwt) increased by 11.2 per cent and the Handy Bulker fleet (10-40,000 dwt) by only 2.1 per cent.
- 2012 recorded all-time high demolition volumes for bulk carriers. 596 bulk carriers with 35 million dwt were reported as broken up, compared to 27 million dwt a year earlier.1.2 Size dimensions of the world bulk carrier fleet
- The average size of bulk carriers increased from 43,500 dwt in 1990 to 66,500 dwt at the beginning of 2013.

Looking at the new deliveries, there is a trend to larger units, at least 743 Capesize carriers entering the fleet in the past five years were attributable to size classes above
150,000 dwt. Altogether, the world bulk carrier fleet comprised 1,340 of these very large units. More than every second Capesize carrier now has a capacity of 150,000 dwt
or more. During the next years, the increasing importance of larger size classes will continue. The average size of bulk carriers on order is over 81,000 dwt. In the bulk carrier segment, the highest number of new orders has been for Handymax vessels. The current order book includes 668 units in the 30-60,000 dwt, 578 vessels in the Panamax segment (60-85,000 dwt); 313 Capesize vessels have capacities over 85,000 dwt. The average size of all bulk carriers on order is 81,000 dwt against 66,500 dwt in the active fleet. The ratio of the order book to the active fleet for Capesize vessels is about 17 per cent - down from a staggering 55 per cent two years earlier.

1.3 Ownership patterns of the world bulk carrier fleet

World bulk carrier fleet by flagbr>
Large shares of the bulk carrier fleet are attributable to open registry flags. At the start of 2013, 401 million dwt, equal to 60.1 per cent of the total bulk carrier tonnage,
were registered for the top ten open registry flags (“Major open registries”). The leading registered flag is Panama with 208 million dwt (31.2 per cent), followed by Hong
Kong (11.9 per cent) and Liberia (10.0 per cent).

World bulk carrier fleet by country of control
The country-by-country analysis underlines that the world bulk carrier fleet is controlled by a few shipping countries
At the beginning of 2013, the top ten countries controlled 82.7 per cent of the total world bulk tonnage. Japan (139 million dwt), Greece (128 million dwt) and China (106
million dwt) are by far the largest nations, the dwt-share of these leading countries stood at 56 per cent.

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