The Baltic Dry Index continued to rise In April. Despite this, tonne mile demand trade fell by 2% according to our data. In a recent blog article, we identified the reason for this as ‘inefficiencies’ in the fleet. That being said, March had a bumper month with a 19% increase. Even with a 2% decline in demand, market pace is still strong.
In April, iron ore fell by 8% yet we can see annual growth of 2%. Coal is similar, falling by just 1% in April but with 10% growth compared to last year. India experienced heavy restocking considering they were falling into the grips of the delta variant. Imports have jumped up from 7 to 17 million tonnes since last April.
Astonishingly, agricultural growth continues to surprise. March was a bumper month with 49% growth and has been followed by a further 11% in April. A lot of this growth has come from maize and it’s accompanying high mileage. Maise traded in April totalled 18 million tonnes this year, compared to 14.9 from the previous April. Soya bean harvest has also done exceptionally well. China imported 12.2 million tonnes of maise in April, higher than last year’s 11.7 million tonnes.
Another noteworthy story is that of the increase in steel: 19% in March followed by a further 3% rise in April. Compared to April last year, steel is 21% ahead in trade overall. Most traded steel has been in construction and manufacturing. Steel flats are up to 5.5 million tonnes from 4.3 last year. Longs have risen from 4.3 to 7.4 million tonnes over the last year. Tubes & pipes also higher, at 5.3 million tonnes this April – a year ago, just 4.2 million tonnes.