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Cosco secures lower ship charter rates

China Cosco Holdings, operator of the world's largest bulk cargo fleet and a major global container shipper, said it has been able to slash charter costs after successful renegotiations with shipowners amid a gloomy outlook for the shipping industry, reported Reuters.

"The negotiations went well. Most of the shipowners have agreed to reduce charter costs," Cosco chairman Wei Jiafu told Reuters on the sidelines of a global shipping conference in Boao, on the southern Chinese island province of Hainan.

Cosco had managed to reduce "a large portion" of charter costs through the negotiations, Wei said, adding that the company had stopped buying ships last year because of an uncertain industry outlook.

Cosco halted payments to several shipowners earlier this year to force better terms, a move that threatened to taint its reputation within the international shipping community. It had sought to reassure investors that talks with shipowners over unpaid bills would be resolved.

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