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A total of 570 dry bulk carriers are waiting in long lines near Chinese ports, the highest level in seven years.


The number of dry bulk ships moored near Chinese ports has exploded in the past two weeks due to congestion and COVID-19 control measures.

AIS data obtained by Lauritzens Bulkers, the dry bulk operator, shows that 7.5 per cent of the world's small dry bulk carriers, including Handysize and Supramax, are currently docked near Chinese ports.

That represents a 37 per cent increase in the number of dry bulk carriers moored in just 10 days, equalling about 570 dry bulk carriers waiting to unload at Chinese ports. Two weeks ago, the line was about 400 boats. The global fleet of nimble dry bulk carriers and super nimble dry bulk carriers totals 7,725.

"It's an operational challenge," says Niels Josefsen, CHIEF executive of Lauritzen Bulkers. The dry bulk operator is known to have four flexible dry bulk vessels waiting to dock at various Chinese ports.

"High-volume ports are already under pressure, and the recent introduction of new restrictions and quarantine regulations at several Chinese ports to stop the spread of the Delta variant has further increased the waiting time for ships," Josefsen said. "China is the largest dry bulk import and export market and there has always been a waiting period and the waiting period has worsened in the last 10 days. We have ships waiting outside Chinese ports and more ships on their way to Chinese ports, and we don't get paid for waiting." The dry bulk operator is known to ship timber and agricultural products to China.

Oceanbolt, a data-driven technology company that analyzes and monitors trends in the dry bulk market, also confirmed the congestion trend at Chinese ports, the pressure on ports and the growing number of dry bulk carriers near ports.

We have seen a sharp rise in the overall level of dry bulk ship accumulation in Chinese waters, the highest in seven years. "The impact has been particularly pronounced on flexible dry bulk carriers, which have seen a 31 per cent increase in the last two weeks and a 64 per cent increase so far this year." Oceanbolt co-founder Niclas D?hli Priess.

The number of ultra-nimble dry bulk carriers is also at a seven-year high, with 313 currently waiting to berth near Chinese ports, representing a 35 percent increase so far this year, according to Oceanbolt.

According to data extracted by Oceanbolt, there are currently 548 superflexible and flexible bulk carriers waiting for docking near Chinese ports, thus confirming the data provided by dry bulk operator Lauritzen Bulkers.

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