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Bulk shipping rates tumble 90% as China steel output shrinks

Commodity vessel slump stands in sharp contrast to container ship crisis

Demand for commodity freight has shrunk as China's steelmaking has slowed along with the country's wider economy.

TOKYO -- Freight rates for large bulk carriers fell more 90% from last year's peak amid sharply lower demand for iron ore in China, the world's largest steel producer.

The capesize spot rate for the largest dry cargo ships dropped to $5,826 per day at the end of January, marking the lowest in 20 months.

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