Trading routes open

Coal

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Coal has now eclipsed grain as the leading driver of spot freight prices. In turn, during the 2003 to 2004 surge in freight prices, the cost of freight as a percentage of a coal trade grew to as much as 10%. The interdependency of these markets has generated new trading interest in recent months.

According to London-based Clarkson Research, tons of total shipments of bulk commodities rose 6% and 7% in 2003 and 2004 respectively, with shipments to Asia increasing the most. Freight rates on

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