BIMCO highlights stunning comeback to Q2 agricultural exports
As agricultural dry bulk commodities exports investigate the first quarter of this year and painted a dark picture of freight rates for Panamax and Handymax, a spectacular second quarter comeback has almost tripled freight rates.
While total volumes of agricultural exports are now solidly rising in the first half of the year, they are not mind-blowingly high and export volumes certainly offered little help in the first quarter of 2020. On the other hand, a major increase in shipping demand and a rise in exports in April , May and June have saved the day for freight rates in Panamax and Handymax.
Combined agricultural export volumes from the US, Argentina and Brazil increased in the first half of 2020 to 148.6 million tonnes, from 136.8 million tons in the first six months of 2019. The rise was driven by strong Brazilian soybean exports that pushed Brazil 's total agricultural exports up by 40% in the second quarter compared to last year's same era.
This stunning comeback in Q2 replaces weak exports in Q1, hit by a 15 percent decline in US exports, mainly due to declining exports of soya bean. This high-volume product dropped the most in the first quarter, as exports this year were 2.4 million tons (-20 per cent) lower than in the first three months of 2019.
The freight prices soared from $5,000 a day to $10,000-13,000 a day by 26 August. The prices bottomed out in mid-May and have since been backed by exports of South American grain going to Asia.
Maritime Business World