Bulk-shipping lines should cancel half of their new vessel orders to ease a capacity glut and revive freight rates, according to a Norwegian shipbroker.

RS Platou says the market could be balanced by cutting 50% of the order book, until rates recover by 2012.

Bulk-shipping rates have tumbled 78% from last year as growth in the global fleet surpassed China’s demand for iron ore and coal shipments.

A rebound in freight rates since April also encouraged shipping lines to grow their fleets. Dry-bulk ship deliveries increased 35% in the four months ended August from the preceding four months, RS Platou says. Scrapping fell 61%.

Companies which have followed this trend include Noble Group, a Hong Kong-based supplier of raw materials, which ordered five bulk carriers worth about $320m in August and Vale SA, which announced plans to order 11 large bulk carriers.