BIMCO: Shipping Industry Dented by Soybean Trade Developments

Combined soybean exports from Brazil and the U.S. are down 7.8% in the first eight months of this year, as the main Brazilian soybean export season disappointed, according to BIMCO.

The fall in volumes from the two countries has also led to an 8.5% drop from last year in the tonne mile demand generated by the two dominant soybean exporters.

In particular falling exports from Brazil have hurt the shipping industry, with accumulated soybean exports from Brazil in the first eight months of this year 7.8 million tonnes lower than the first eight months of 2018, BIMCO explained. This has resulted in tonne mile demand from Brazilian exports falling by 12.9% or 83.7 billion tonne miles.

U.S. soybean exports in August 2019 were the highest they have ever been in the month of August reaching 4.5 million tonnes, 1.4 million tonnes higher than exports in August 2018. However, this growth does not make up for the loss in tonne mile demand from Brazil, which exports higher volumes of soybeans than the U.S.

”The coming months will determine the outcome of the year for seaborne U.S. soybean exports, with early signs that exports since September 1 seem to be following the usual pattern of increasing through September ahead of a peak in late October and November. This would be good news for the shipping industry, but it is currently too early to call the season a success,” Peter Sand, BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst, said.