Trade volumes eased off in June and July but considering the low freight rates, trade volumes are still 5% ahead of last year. Iron ore has come off considerably and the fall has happened in the Brazil leg, reducing the tonne miles of the fleet. We expect iron ore volumes to remain lower than normal for the remainder of the year as the Chinese economy is starting to faulter. Coal also has dipped with less volumes coming from Australia and more from Indonesia, again hurting tonne miles. There was a small amount of growth in grain, but things are on par with last year.
Bauxite is still the star performer in the ‘ores and mineral’ category. Overall, ores and mineral are 15% ahead of July last year, partly due to favourable weather conditions in Guinea. We therefore expect Chinese bauxite stocks to run high.
Cement has gone through a boom this summer which we expect to fall back towards the end of the year.