Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) president, Theodoros Veniamis has accused US president Donald Trump of launching a “trade war” and called on the European Union to better support shipping “at the political level”.

Tonnage oversupply has dampened the overall freight market outlook this week, especially in the case of the oversupplied capesize market.

Figures from ship valuation platform VesselsValue.com are suggesting that a significant change is taking place in the asset values of the global fleet with dry bulk vessels staging a strong resurgence.

In the middle of the United States, the geographical center of support for Donald Trump, each boatload of steel imported is akin to a reinforcing bar driven through the heart.

This week saw the capesize paper market traded near to the floor, even before the announcement of raising US tariffs for all steel imports by 25%. Starting from Monday, capesize rates plunged due the lop side supply-demand situations, with more ship supply at the moment.

Freight rates are raring to go after a long break of the Lunar New Year. With cargo volume returning in the Asia-Pacific and Atlantic capesize market, and strong bids seen in the supramax paper market, the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) has climbed to a three week high on Thursday, 22 February at 1,167, up 21 points at day-on-day basis.

Defying difficult market conditions traffic in the world's busiest shipping lane, the Malacca Straits, continued to grow over the last three years hitting an all time high of 84,456 transits in 2017.

The recent US stock market biggest single trading day drop did not dampened the market sentiment on freight market. Dubbed as “Black Monday” or rather a market correction on 5 Feb 2018  where the Dow Jones Industrial average fell by almost 1,200 point or 4.6% losses, making its largest-ever, single-day point decline on record.

Not so many moons ago the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) found itself at the similar territory to where it is today with plunging rates as Lunar New Year approached. Then just days after the Lunar New Year, the BDI fell to lowest ever level at 290 points on ‘Black Wednesday’ of dry bulk shipping on 10 February 2016.

 The shipping of cement is becoming more efficient and more realistic led by developments in the Asia market where the demand has not only heavy, but cargoes are being lifted in a new wave of ships.

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