Mega-ore carrier Valemax Yuan Zhuo Hai, which is owned by China Ore Shipping, has arrived Dongjiakou Port in Qingdao for unloading iron ore. This is the first entry of such a bulk carrier tonnage in the sea port of China for the past two years.
Yuan Zhuo Hai is one of four 400,000dwt VLOCs acquired by China Ore Shipping from Brazilian ore giant Vale.
The 400,000 dwt Valemax is expected to be part-laden, having called at Vale's Subic Bay iron ore transhipment terminal in Philippines after loading its initial cargo at the miner's Brazilian Itaqui port, according to Platts vessel tracking tool, cFlow.
While China’s ministry of transport has yet to officially announce that valemaxes will be allowed to call at Chinese ports, the latest development points to an eventual lifting of the valemax restriction in the country.
The last Valemax to arrive into China was in April 2013, where it unloaded about 220,000 mt iron ore into Lianyungang port. Only one other Valemax entered Chinese waters in December 2011, where it had to unload its maiden iron ore cargo in the free-trade zone of Dalian port.
China Ore Shipping, a joint venture between two state run shipping giants Cosco Group
and China Shipping Group
, acquired four valemaxes which are now named Yuan Zhen Hai, Yuan Jian Hai, Yuan Zhuo Hai and Yuan Shi Hai from Vale for $445m in May.
The vessels have been chartered back by Vale on a 25-year deal, with the two parties also signing a 20-year contract for 10 further valemaxes to be built by Cosco.
Apart from the pact between China Cosco-CSDC and Vale, another leading Chinese enterprise China Merchants Energy Shipping will
also order 10 VLOCs for charter to Vale, pointing to the thawing relationships between the leading Chinese state-run shipping firms and Vale.