China has been and remains a significant player in the dry bulk shipping market, especially in coal trade. It is the largest importer and producer of thermal coal. Australia and Indonesia are the primary providers of coal to China, contributing roughly 70% of its total 2014 thermal coal imports.
The Chinese economy has been growing steadily at an annualized rate of roughly 6-7% so far. The strong economy means new construction, jobs, improved health and population growth, etc. – all of which increases energy consumption. An improved standard of living also spurs calls for environmental protection, and to this end the Chinese government has created a number of new restrictions for coal production and consumption designed to clean up the air. How these new restrictions are implemented will impact the future of coal imports and exports, and by extension the dry bulk shipping market.