U-Ming Marine Transport Corporation, a Taiwanese bulk carrier company, has been awarded a 10-year LNG dual-fuel dry bulk charter contract by Anglo American.

U-Ming scores 10-year charter for its LNG-fueled bulkers
Illustration courtesy of U-Ming

It is the first such long term time charter in the bulk carrier sector, U-Ming said in its statement.

A fleet of four LNG dual-fuel Tier III 190,000 DWT bulk carriers will feature a length of about 299 meters and a width of 47.50 meters. The vessels will be built by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS).

The newbuilds will support the 10-year time charter, and they are expected to be delivered throughout 2023.

The newbuilds will be powered by LNG, and will also be fitted with MAN Energy Solutions’ high-pressure ME-GI engines.

Improving Bulker Market and Future Outlook

The outbreak of the global pandemic has triggered the worst recession since World War II and has an unprecedented impact on sea transport demand, U-Ming said.

With a sharp decrease in Chinese steel production, power and coal consumptions in the first half of the year, the average Baltic Dry Index (BDI) had decreased 23 per cent to only 685 points, from 895 points in the same period of 2019.

However, the bulk market has gradually recovered since May, and the freight indices of various vessel types have rebounded. The US-China trade war has been beneficial to Brazilian soybeans farmers and contributed to the uptick in demand from China at the end of May.

China also began restocking its iron ore supplies in May, supported by the Government’s infrastructure stimulus plan to combat the pandemic-induced recession.

Stimulus packages from various countries have also started to boost domestic demand and have increased investment in infrastructure construction, which will ensure a sustained recovery in the dry bulk market.

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