Much of this year’s incipient dry bulk recovery can be put down to investments under China’s Maritime Silk Road scheme, the ocean side of its $900bn Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), according to members of an opening panel at Tuesday's TradeWinds Shipping China conference in Shanghai.

Panelists were unanimous in agreeing that a huge investment in world trade has got to be a positive thing, but in some cases were reserved about the long term effects of policy driven investments, including the debt burdens they create for beneficiaries.