Analysts have been significantly underestimating the number of bulkers affected by Beijing’s de facto ban on ­Australian coal imports.

Seventy-four ships of panamax size or larger are waiting at Chinese anchorages laden with Austra­lian coal, based on current numbers from Oslo dry bulk intelligence service Oceanbolt. And many of the 50-plus such vessels idle in ballast off eastern ­Australia may be waiting out the same ban.

Those numbers could matter to the supply-and-­demand equation in dry bulk if ships now in limbo are all released into the market at the same time and resume active trading, while freight demand increases only modestly.