Dry cargo trade survived Q1 relatively unscathed. Traditionally the weakest quarter of the year it was up 1.4% compared to Q1 2019. Admittedly there was the Brumadinho dam disaster suppressing demand last year. However, iron ore exports were 3% below Q1 last year and down 10% compared to Q4 2019. Steam coal was the saviour and this was mainly down to logistical problems in China moving cargo from the North to the south, so they imported more. Steam coal exports from Australia went up 17 million tonnes in March and Russia up 5 million tonnes compared to February.
Agricultural products are also doing well. March was a blistering month up 52% compared to February. Wheat and soya bean are the star performers. There were 5 million tonnes more wheat exported in March and 2 million tonnes more soya bean compared to last year.