Shipping freight rates, which have hit record lows this year, are set to remain weak for the rest of the decade or longer. There are too many ships and low fuel prices are capping operating costs, a recent report said.
The low freight rates would benefit large iron ore and coal producers as they can access new markets, while high cost producers would suffer from greater competition and a declining share of their regional markets.
Steep drops in Asian shipping rates have also added to fears about slowing trade. Falling export orders from countries across the region are depressing demand for ships.