In March alone 15.5 million tonnes of steel were loaded on board bulk carriers, marking a 30% increase on a year-on- year basis.
This was reported by shipbrokers Braemar ACM, who forecasted that consumption levels of the metal alloy would remain high for several more months before experiencing a physiological decline. The need for many countries to make up the ground lost during the initial lockdown period is said to be behind the market’s dynamism in the first part of the year.
Those benefiting most are the shipowners, managers and/or owners of dry bulk carriers. In March, the volumes of steel transported on board supramax ships increased by 60% compared to 2020 figures, hitting 9.3 million tonnes. Handysize cargoes were up to 5.5 million tonnes, while panamax steel cargoes increased by 19% to 700,000 tonnes.
In the first three months of the year, 38.5 million tonnes of steel were handled, up 25% compared to the same period last year.
Trade in the US market has been particularly strong, with a 38% increase between January and March, thanks to bigger supramax shipments from those countries that did not cut capacity during the first lockdown, such as South Korea, Ukraine and Japan.
Translation by Giles Foster