U-Ming Marine Transport (Singapore) Private Limited, a subsidiary of U-Ming Marine Transport Corporation (2606), has signed a 25-year contract of affreightment (COA) with Vale International SA of Switzerland. The COA is the biggest and longest commitment in U-Ming’s history and the total contract value is anticipated to be more than US$600 million with a bunker adjustment clause.

The owner has also ordered two 325,000dwt Very Large Ore Carriers (VLOC) from China’s Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Co. Ltd. to facilitate the contract.

A U-Ming spokesman said today: “U-Ming Marine Transport has long-term relationships with major mining companies around the world and its proven track record of providing reliable transportation services is evident among its international customer base. The signing of this long- term contract has further enhanced the cooperation and relationship between Vale International SA and U-Ming. The COA will commence in 2020 until 2045 for trans- porting Brazilian iron ore to China. We have been able to secure a bigger portion of long term charters with stabilized revenue and profit for the company.”

As part of its aspiration to be a leading eco-friendly shipping company, U-Ming has ordered two VLOC ships (325,000dwt) with an LNG-ready design for retrofitting to ‘dual fuel’ in the future. The vessels are expected to be delivered in 2020. Each vessel will be equipped with a state-of-the- art eco-efficient main engine, SO2 scrubber features, digital optimization systems, and comply with the International Maritime Organization’s 2020 sulphur cap of 0.5% with effect from 2020. These environ- mentally responsible vessels adhere to the latest international maritime regulations which provide green shipping to customers with significantly reduced greenhouse emissions.

U-Ming notes that the dry bulk shipping market recovered significantly in 2017. The overall Baltic Dry Index (BDI) achieved an annual growth of 70% to 1,145 points.

U-Ming also said China’s economy grew by about 6.9% last year and overall the performance was better than expected in 2017. China’s value-added industrial output maintained by more than 6% steady growth and the annual growth of total profits earned by Chinese industrial enterprises exceeded 20%. China imported about 1.0814 billion tonnes of iron ore, a growth of 5.5% year-on-year, in 2017.

China’s iron ore demand has been rising and its import hit a record high in 2017; of which 60% was from Australia and 20% from Brazil. Major mining companies have been increasing their iron ore production capacity to meet China’s demand.

According to Australia official estimates, the world iron ore total export in 2019 will reach 1.378 billion tonnes, a 7% growth as compared to 2017, of which Vale’s new S11D mine will reach a nominal capacity of 90 million tonness per annum by 2020 with an iron content of up to 66.7%. The total iron ore export from Brazil in 2019 is expected to be 10% more than in 2017.

The U-Ming spokesman added: “This COA is contracted to meet the iron ore demand growth especially in China and other developing countries; and with U-Ming’s prudent management and customer service oriented vision to create a win-win for both parties.”


U-Ming currently owns and operates VLOC, Capesize, Post-Panamax, Kamsar- max, Panamax, Ultramax, Supramax, cement carriers, Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) and LR1 tankers — amounting to 50 vessels (including vessels that are in operation, under construction, joint ventures and ship management service); with a total deadweight of 6.82 million tonnes. With subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Singapore and China Xiamen, U-Ming is the largest publicly-listed bulk carrier company in Taiwan in terms of gross tonnage.