The impact of coronavirus on the dry bulk carrier market

According to Clarkson Research Services, the outlook for the dry bulk trade in 2020 has weakened. Demand forecasts have been significantly revised downwards, the most recent estimates (mid-April ‘20) for seaborne dry bulk trade suggest a decline of about 4 % this year. This development can be illustrated by the monthly development of Brazil's ore exports (see graph).

The impact of coronavirus on the dry bulk carrier market © ISL, Ministerium für Wirtschaft Industrie und Außenhandel, Brasilien, Foto: Wikipedia

Some further figures for the first quarter 2020: The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) in January has fallen below 500 index points for the first time in four years. The tacit recovery did not last long and the index turned downwards again in March 2020. Clarkson figures for the first quarter of 2020 also indicate that the coronavirus outbreak has a significant impact on the shipbuilding industry. Shipyards reported just 15 bulk carrier orders of 1.0 million dwt in Q1 2020, compared to 83 ships (7 million dwt) in Q1 2019.

The ISL SSMR 2020-4 highlights various developments surrounding the major dry bulk markets and is available via our Webshop and has just been sent to subscribers.