June iron ore was moving to a higher monthly level than all of last year. Part of the reason was Australia was getting as much out the door before the end of their tax year. The other encouraging development was Brazil had overcome their operational issues caused by Covid and flooding. 142 million tonnes left on ships altogether while 81mt was coming out of Australia. The high volumes unsurprisingly were the driver behind the freight rates, proving that demand from China was still there. They imported 111 million tonnes, the highest level on record for a single month.
While Iron ore was doing remarkably well, coal was the laggard. Overall, down 2% compared to Q2 last year. Considering the Covid impact, that was still remarkably good. Steam coal rose 1% in Q2 while after an 8% fall in Q1. While coking coal fell 20% in Q2. On the plus side Lignite and anthracite bounced back strongly in Q2 making the overall coal decline less severe than expected.