A : East Coast North America B : Colombia C : Brazil D : South Africa (Richards Bay) E : Australia (Newcastle)

Coal Trades – Steam coal is used for powerstations, while higher quality coal is used mainly in the steel industry. An annual increase in demand for steam coal occurs from September to February to meet the need for greater electricity generation during the northern hemisphere’s cold and dark winter months. This in turn, increases the demand for ships (especially Capesizes and Panamaxes) to move the coal from Richards Bay (South Africa), Brazil, south-eastern Australia, Columbia and other coal-producing regions to European ports. This increases the charter rate for these ships around that time.

Similar to the growth in the iron ore trade, the coal trade boomed during the Chinese economic growth from 2001 to 2008, and declined once that country’s economy had flattened out.