During the first part of November, average weighted bulk carrier earnings continued on the upward trend that commenced at the start of October, rising to $24,569/day on the 20th of the month. Earnings then dipped slightly w-o-w before rising again to stand at $23,721/day on the 4th December. Average Capesize earnings stood at $68,830/day in November and average Panamax earnings at $25,402/day, up 72.1% and 6.5% m-o-m respectively.
The bulk carrier fleet grew by a further 30 vessels during November 2009 to stand at 7,249 vessels of cumulative 454.lm dwt on the 1st December. Over the course of the month 37 bulkers were delivered totalling 3.0m dwt and ten were demolished (eight of which were Handysizes). At the start of December the bulk carrier handbook comprised 3,166 vessels aggregrating 276.7m dwt, equating to 43.7% of the existing fleet in terms of vessel numbers and 60.9% in terms of deadweight.
Of the five major bulks, iron ore is the only one projected to exhibit y-o-y trade growth in 2009.
However, within global seaborne coal trade, steam coal trade is now projected to grow very slightly (0.6%, 3.4mt y-o-y.) Although this growth is a definite positive for bulk carriers, the much more substantial 9.0mt projected decline in coking coal trade is somewhat overshadowing this small positive. Indeed it now seems that minor bulk trade is going to see the biggest contraction in 2009, with a projected decline of 5.7% y-o-y, compared to the 1.2% increase projected for major bulks (although this is heavily influenced by iron ore.)