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Panamax rates plunge on weak China coal demand

Need for the fuel declines as the country produces record hydropower

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Global impact: The erosion of Chinese coal demand is not holding back global trade in the fuel, which is predicted to expand 5 per cent this year, with shipments of the commodity expanding 10 per cent. - PHOTO: AFP

[LONDON] Record production of hydropower from China's Three Gorges and newer dams is displacing so much coal that rates to transport it have plunged to about record lows, roiling the shipping market. Daily earnings for Panamaxes, vessels that are about 750 feet long and get most of their spot