This article has been reprinted from the Feb. 18 USDA Grain Transportation Report.
As of April 11, 2019, the rate for shipping a metric ton (mt) of grain from the U.S. Gulf to Japan was $42.00.
This was 11 percent lower than the beginning of the year, and 4 percent below the same period a year ago.
The rate for the Pacific Northwest to Japan was $23.50 per mt.
This was 6 percent lower than the beginning of the year, and 3 percent below the same period a year ago.
The relatively low rates were due to slow bulk trade caused partly by closure of mines in Brazil, which impacted iron ore supply.
According to Drewry, coal imports in China are also generally low during April because of the off-peak consumption season when electricity generation declines.
This is also the case in other northern hemisphere countries.