1. Booming box rates

Container freight rates are surging. Shippers are being asked to pay more than $10,000 to ship a 40-foot container from Asia to Europe, Xeneta chief executive Patrik Berglund told TradeWinds correspondent Ian Lewis. Port congestion and surging volumes mean the trade from China to the UK has seen rates “explode”.

2. DHT grabs Awilco VLCCs

New York-listed DHT Holdings has agreed to pay top dollar for two modern scrubber-fitted VLCCs. The company said it had agreed to pay $136m for the ships, which have scrubbers installed. Brokers told TradeWinds correspondent Gary Dixon that Awilco Eco Tankers is the seller.

3. Scrap price slump

Demolition prices went up, and then they plummeted. The market for recycling ships has lost $40 per ldt in a week, grinding sales negotiations to a halt. Cash buyer GMS described the reversal as being “shocking and unexpected”.

4. Global Chartering eyes order

London-based Global Chartering is said to be in talks with a Chinese shipyard for up to 10 energy-efficient bulker newbuildings in a $302m deal. The company is a joint venture between steel and mining giant ArcelorMittal and Peter Livanos-backed DryLog. It is aiming to order six kamsarmax bulkers and four baby-capesize vessels, shipyard sources said.

5. A muted Chinese new year

Are you used to seeing the dry bulk market slow down for the Chinese new year? This time might be different. Bulker owners think muted celebrations will keep the market busy, as China looks to keep factories running and spread out the festivities.