Global cement exports reached a new monthly high in October totaling 13.8 MMT, increasing by 12.8% YoY. Increased cement trade has primarily benefitted the Supramaxes in recent months, with loadings increasing by 16.3% YoY to 8.5 MMT in October. Shipments from January to October totaled 119 MMT, 18.6% higher YoY compared to the same period last year.

Shipments out of Vietnam hit new monthly highs in October totaling 4.1 MMT, rising 47.6% YoY with China being the primary destination amounting to 2.8 MMT, 55.3% higher YoY. Chinese imports of the construction material have been particularly strong at 3.1 MMT, matching the country’s record monthly liftings in October 2020.

The ongoing energy crisis in China has forced cement producers to reduce capacity, as is the case with other industries. As a result, the country has looked to the seaborne market to fill demand. Imports from Vietnam made up most of the volumes, totaling 2.8 MMT, an increase of 55.3% YoY.

On Saturday 6 November, the US Congress passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal that will see the US spend an estimated $1 trillion on upgrading the country’s existing infrastructure. Incorporated in the deal is $66 billion in funding to modernize the country’s rail network, adding thousands of miles in additional track and adding over 5,000 rail cars. A further $17 billion has been allocated to develop the country’s port infrastructure to reduce congestion and emissions in port areas.

US dry bulk imports totaled 106 MMT over January – October, marking a 19.2% and 4.3% increase versus the same period in 2020 and 2019, respectively. More specifically, US steel imports totaled 21.2 MMT over the first 10 months of 2021, 16.6% higher than 2019 levels and the highest since 2017. The infrastructure deal is likely to see dry bulk demand in the country continue to increase, with several of the deal’s focus points material heavy.