Global cementitious shipping market to be clouded by China-US trade war

In 2017, the total number of cement carriers topped 360 units, with the total dead weight tonnage surpassing 2.7 million, the highest figure recorded since 2010. According to CW Research’s 2018 update of the World Cement, Clinker & Slag Sea-Based Trade Report, this rising trend was boosted by a growing demand for cement carriers in key domestic trade markets.

2017 also recorded an increase in the transportation cost of almost all types of dry bulk cargo, causing the Baltic freight index to grow to its highest value over the last four years. Rising shipping expenses were also boosted by an increase in China’s commodity imports, primarily of coal and iron ore.

Despite an initially positive outlook for 2018, the dry bulk market is likely to be shaken by international trade conflicts that could have large-scale repercussions.

“The optimistic outlook for the dry bulk market in 2018 was interrupted by an unexpected trade war between the US and China”, observes Raluca Cercel, Associate with CW Group. “The consequences of the import tariffs imposed by the US are already being felt in the shipping market, and as a response, China has recently announced the intention to extend its tariffs on imports from the US to several more agricultural products, including soybeans.”

ASIA-PACIFIC BOOSTING GLOBAL SEABORNE TRADE

There are currently more than 360 active specialized cement carriers operating around the world. These vessels move about 25 million tons of cement per year internationally in markets such as Japan, Greece, and Indonesia. Apart from specialized cement carriers, cementitious materials are also shipped via general dry bulk carriers, with Greece, Japan and China accounting for more than half of the global fleet.

Most cement carriers are concentrated in Asia-Pacific, a trend that can be explained by the size of cement trade in the area, furthered by environmental regulations related to cement spillage, as well as unfavorable weather conditions that make it difficult to unload and unload cement from general bulkers.

Although specialized carriers can be chartered, major cement producers often operate their own, in an effort to improve logistic efficiency. LafargeHolcim, Heidelberg Cement, and Cemex account for a combined share of almost 20 percent of this segment.

In 2018, new capacity can be expected to emerge in the cement seaborne trading market, including the conversion of bulk carriers.

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For more information, placing an order, or interview inquiries, please contact Liviu Dinu, Market Services & Marketing Consultant, CW Group, by phone at +40-744-67-44-11, or e-mail at ld@cwgrp.com.

ABOUT THE REPORT
The World Cement, Clinker & Slag Sea-based Trade Report provides an in-depth and data-oriented analysis of trade-related development and analyzes the historical trade flows and prices, changes in exports and imports the past years from a regional perspective with a focus on key markets. The report also projects key cement and clinker supply-demand gaps that will sustain world cement trading in for the next few years. Key exporters, their facilities, and traders are profiled, as well as key ocean-going cement carrier operations and their vessels. Examined trade flows include gray cement, clinker, white cement, and slag, as well as a discussion of fly ash trade, in bag, big-bag, or bulk form. The report projects main flows through 2023 expected to be shipped by ocean going vessels and also includes prevailing cement trade prices and bulk/dry cargo shipping rates.

More information about the report can be found here: https://www.cwgrp.com/research/research-products/product/276-world-cement,-clinker-slag-sea-based-trade-forecast-through-2023

ABOUT CW GROUP
The Greenwich (Conn.), USA headquartered CW Group is a leading advisory, research and business intelligence boutique with a global presence and a multi-industry orientation. CW Group is particularly recognized for its sector expertise in heavy-side building materials (cement), light-side building materials, traditional and renewable power & energy, petrochemicals, metals & mining, industrial minerals, industrial manufacturing, bulk cargo & shipping, among others. We have a strong functional capability, grounded in our methodical and quantitative philosophy, including due diligence, sourcing intelligence, feasibility studies and commodity forecasting. www.cwgrp.com

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