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After a surge in coal prices in the second half of 2016, the market saw a huge decline in the thermal and coking coal market since the start of this year, though still well above the depressed times where prices we below USD$50 and USD$80 respectively. Large US Coal Producer Peabody has also been successful in reducing its costs and debt load and has emerged from bankruptcy. In this quarter, we saw the ex ANZ team resurfacing at Shun Shing Group, a Bangladesh trading company headquartered in Hong Kong, as well as Pine Energy building out their team here in Singapore.
On the flip side, there is little excitement in the iron ore space. There seem to be slight concern in the market with regards to the outlook of the steel making industry in the upcoming months, however, general sentiment is if prices hover between US$60 - US$90 range, it should be more than enough for mining companies and producers to keep up with their costs.
On the hiring front, demand continues to be slow for the dry bulk market. Front office mandates may be limited, but we may be seeing some demand for middle and back office experts post bonus payout period.