China Cosco Holdings, the world’s largest operator of dry-bulk vessels, posted a quarterly loss and said accumulated first-half profit may more than halve from last year as a slowing economy pummels commodity-shipping demand, Bloomberg reported. The US$491 million net loss compared with a profit of US$899.7 million a year earlier, the company said. Sales fell 63% to US$1.58 billion. Cosco is in talks to delay or cancel orders for new vessels as it anticipates a 44% drop in dry-bulk traffic this year. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of commodity-shipping rates, tumbled 80% in the year ending March as China pared iron-ore imports and new vessels entered service. The shipping line’s container fleet, China’s biggest, has also suffered as US and European consumers cut spending on Asian-made goods. China Shipping Container Lines, ranked second, also posted a first-quarter loss.