Dry Bulk Cargo trade is traditionally poor during quarter one, yet compared to last year we’ve seen a 9.4% rise. Cargo demand however fell by 2% compared to the previous month. It’s strange considering freight rates increased in the first quarter. We discussed possible ‘inefficiencies’ in one of our recent blog articles.
Most gains seen in quarter one were made during March. Cargo fell month on month, 5% in January and 9% in February, however cargo made up for these losses by growing a healthy 20% in March. Ores & Minerals made great ground overall, having grown across all three quarters largely due to aluminium ore, also known as bauxite, headed towards China.
Looking at iron ore in quarter one, it’s interesting to see Australian exports fell by 8% and Brazil exports by 13%. These drops highlight some supply difficulties along with the extremely high commodity prices of iron ore.
Soya bean season is eclipsing last year’s data. Maise is also off to a strong start, higher than any volume during the previous year, with 181 million tonnes shipped in March.
The steel sector appears extremely strong, growing 3% in the first quarter. However, values under this 3% show flats, responsible for manufacturing, grew by 19%. Longs (used in construction) rose by 2%, whilst Pipes & Tubes grew by 7%. All core finished products had very strong January growth amidst high steel prices. The volumes that shrank back were semi processed and pig iron, likely because there low stocks of either commodity.