The dry Baltic index started May with the highest values seen this year, but then eased during the month. Overall, cargo demand rose by 2% compared to April. The values are still way ahead of last year, with 11% growth compared to May in the previous year. Nearly every cargo group is in double digit growth.
Iron ore is particularly strong with 8% growth in May. What is interesting is that Australia values were very strong in May at 76 million tonnes exported. We would have expected more coming out of Brazil by now, as they had production problems earlier in the year. However, values were 27 million tonnes – only a slight increase on April but showing no real acceleration yet.
Coal is also strong for May. In particular, China’s coal demand has bounced back to 13 million tonnes which is a lot stronger than India’s, which dropped from 17 million tonnes in April to 13 million tonnes in May.
Agricultural trade has come off the boil on slightly. Impressive figures for May’s corn, at 17.3 million tonnes. Soya bean exports have only just peaked with 17.8 million tonnes exported.
Ores and minerals did particularly well with aluminium ore bauxite which grew to 13.2 million tonnes, which is the highest growth since July last year. Nickel ore also did particularly well at 5.8 million tonnes during May.