Intermodal Weekly Market Report, Tuesday 16th May 2017, Week 19

Market insight By Theodore Ntalakos, SnP Broker
According to economic data China imports increased year-on-year 38% in February, 20%  in March – which is approximately US$160-170b - whilst in April they failed reaching market estimates which were at 18% rise and  remained at 12% rise year-on-year to USD 142b. Maybe this explains the softening in the freight markets experienced over the past month.

The main drivers are coal and lignite, iron ore, and soybeans for the dry and crude and refined oil for the wet sector. So, being one of the biggest consumers of commodities in the world, it's quite evident that Chinese imports are a barometer for vessel utilization and any surges thereof are very closely correlated with the freight market. For the record, the imports reached their five year low in Q1 2016 – well below US$100b - and before that in Q3 2014, just like the Baltic Dry Index.

Whole weekly report you can download here