NORDEN enters the Capesize market Ship’s crew

By Jonathan Saul

LONDON, March 30 (Reuters) – Shipping group NORDEN has acquired larger capesize dry bulk carriers to capitalize on the reopening of the Chinese economy and expectations of a pickup in commodity trading, the Danish company’s CEO has said.

According to sentiment polls, three years of strict border controls and full-scale lockdowns during the pandemic have eroded business confidence in China, particularly among foreign firms.

China has set a target for gross domestic product growth of around 5% this year after falling well short of its 2022 target. That’s less than the International Monetary Fund and some private forecasters think is possible.

NORDEN has acquired four Capesize ships and is separately considering chartering more Capesize vessels as part of its strategy, said Jan Rindbo.

“With China reopening post-COVID, at least now we can see that sentiment and demand are being driven much more by China than by global GDP, and that tends to favor the capesize segment more,” he told Reuters.

Capesizes, which are among the largest dry bulk carriers, typically carry manufactured goods such as coal and iron ore and are a vital transportation link for China’s trade. Other raw materials such as bauxite are also increasingly being shipped on capesizes.

Reduced vessel availability due to a low order backlog for the first time in years has also supported prospects for the dry bulk sector.

“We are still concerned about the global economy and the banking crisis has not helped this picture,” said Rindbo.

“But at the same time we also feel that the order situation is very low. With the Chinese economy seemingly in full swing, there is room for some optimism.”

The fleet operated by NORDEN averages over 450 ships, including over 300 bulk carriers and more than 100 oil product tankers.

Rindbo said larger ships also bring “freight savings and also emissions savings.”

(Reporting by Jonathan SaulEditing by Mark Potter)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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