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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bulk Shipping Rates on the move?

Interesting Bloomberg Article which corresponds with my thoughts that the shipping market will start turning around September / October. But I could be wrong - DYOR!

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China’s Investment Growth May Quicken as Export Slump Eases

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By Kevin Hamlin
May 11 (Bloomberg) -- China’s investment growth probably accelerated as a decline in exports moderated, strengthening a fledgling recovery in the world’s third-biggest economy.
Urban fixed-asset investment grew 29.1 percent in the four months through April from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of 16 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. That compares with a 28.6 percent gain in the first three months.
Exports may have dropped 15.3 percent last month, the smallest decline in four months. The government will release trade and investment figures tomorrow.

Optimism that China’s 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus plan is working has pushed up global copper prices and driven a 44 percent gain in the Shanghai Composite Index this year. The central bank cautioned in a quarterly monetary-policy report last week that the recovery is not yet “solid” after the economy performed better-than-expected in the first quarter.
“The economy has gained speed heading into the current quarter,” said Wang Qian, an economist with JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Hong Kong. “We expect it to strengthen further as policy stimulus kicks in more powerfully and the external environment gradually improves.”
The trade surplus may have climbed to $20.3 billion, more than the previous month and a year earlier. Industrial production increased 8.6 percent from a year earlier, compared with an 8.3 percent gain in March, according to the economists. That figure will be released May 13.
Record Loans

The stimulus plan, a sixfold increase in new lending to a record in March, and a fledgling recovery in real estate are fuelling investment growth and an economic revival.
Chile’s Codelco, the world’s largest copper mining company, said May 7 that “dynamic” demand for the metal in China is helping to trim global stockpiles.

Chinese manufacturing expanded in April after record contractions last year, two surveys showed. General Motors Corp., the biggest overseas automaker in China, said its sales in the country rose 50 percent last month to a record. Overall vehicle sales rose 25 percent to a record 1.15 million units.

A stabilizing global economy may help Chinese exporters after thousands of factory closures and the loss of millions of migrant workers’ jobs. Eight out of nine leading indicators tracked across the globe by Credit Suisse Group AG, including manufacturing indexes and U.S. consumer confidence, have bottomed since the start of the year.

In China, signs of weakness include a 3.6 percent drop in power generation in April from a year earlier, reported by the official Xinhua News Agency on May 6.
‘No Man’s Land’
“We’re in a no man’s land now where the leading indicators look very good but the real economy hasn’t yet begun to rebound,” said Paul Cavey, an economist with Macquarie Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong.

China’s economic expansion weakened to 6.1 percent in the first quarter, the slowest pace since at least 1999, according to official data. The central bank reported a gain in quarter- on-quarter growth, without giving details.

While investment is surging, new lending may have cooled from a record 1.89 trillion yuan in March. April’s figure may be about 600 billion yuan, according to state media.
M2, the broadest measure of money supply, rose 25.3 percent last month, down from 25.5 percent in March, according to the median estimate of 20 economists.

The People’s Bank of China has pledged to ensure an “ample” supply of money to sustain growth, while cautioning that new lending is overly focused on government projects, small businesses lack credit, and bad loans may rebound.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kevin Hamlin in Beijing at khamlin@bloomberg.net Last Updated: May 10, 2009 12:00 EDT

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