China Capesize Bookings Fall on Holidays.
The number of iron ore and coal- carrying capesize ships hired to deliver cargoes to China declined 38 percent last month as the country held a weeklong holiday to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Raw-materials producers and traders hired 50 of the vessels to ship cargoes to China in February, down from 80 in January, data from Clarkson Research Services Ltd. showed. The vessels are called capesizes because they are too big to fit through the Panama Canal"s locks and must instead sail around South America"s Cape Horn or South Africa"s Cape of Good Hope.
The data provide a snapshot of single-voyage, or spot, charters. They fail to capture long-term freight contracts that commodity producers and steel mills may have in place, and may be incomplete because brokers and traders are not compelled to report shipping deals. Lease rates for capesize ships had declined 56 percent in three months to $28,378 a day as of Feb. 26, according to the Baltic Exchange.