The Baltic dry index rose from 3000 to well over 4000 level during August. This translated in a 5% growth in demand. Most of the growth came from iron ore and coal combined. The iron ore sector rose by 7% month on month and the coal rose by 9% month on month. Overall, iron ore is running 9% higher than August last year and coal is an incredible 17% higher than this time last year.
The supply side of steam coal is particularly struggling at the minute. Demand is strong all across the world. For example, Japan imported 13 million tons in August, which is the highest amount they’ve imported for over a year. South Korea imported 10 million tons, which is 2 million tonnes higher than their normal quota. China imported 16 million tonnes, although they also managed to import an impressive 18 million tonnes in June. There’s strong demand globally for steam coal. Interestingly, Russia increased their exports to 16 million tonnes in August from 13
million tonnes in July. They seem to be the place where they can make the difference to the global shortage.