The arrival of spring brought fresh bloom on the trees and flowers on the plants but there is no spring in the step of the shipping industry as it moves into another slow summer.

Dry bulk freight rates held stronger for most of this week, thanks to stronger panamax rates that continued to lift the market while capes were more mixed. Throughout the week, capesize rates have offered little support following pattern of mixed sell-offs.

The dry bulk market had a great run from the fall of the last year until March this year when the BDI reached 1,338 points on 29 March. While freight rates still have been hovering at just above break-even levels, the improvement of the market has been impressive in relative terms; freight rates have quadrupled in the last year, admittedly from abysmally low levels.

In a week dotted by various countries’ public holidays, the freight market found it hard to bounce back and witnessed further declines across the sectors.

“Nervousness” has set into the freight market, sending the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) to fall off the 1,000 point mark again.

It is hard to break the chain-links between the dry bulk markets from the general health of China’s economy. In common with a lower China Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) seen in April, the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) has stumbled to the current level of 1,000 from the 1,100 points last month.

An e-revolution is stirring waves among the forward freight agreements (FFA) market on whether to turn on the plug to an electronic platform or maintain status quo.

The depressed dry bulk shipping segment is becoming a potentially attractive investment choice for China’s ICBC Financial Leasing Co. However, the Chinese leasing bank is staying clear of the offshore sector.

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) reported a hefty loss of JPY139bn ($1.24bn) for FY2016 ended 31 March 2017 hit by restructuring losses and impairments.

We take a look back at who said what on Seatrade Maritime News’ exclusive live coverage Sea Asia 2017 and the issues that got people talking.

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