A lackluster performance in the dry bulk shipping market in the early quarters of 2013 precipitated a gloomy forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Now, many predict that a significant improvement in the final quarter of the year is expected to produce a much more optimistic forecast for global growth from IMF economists. For instance, the South African coal shipping market strengthened considerably. A record of 70 million tons of coal was shipped out of Richards Bay Coal Terminal, topping 2012 shipments of 68.3 million tons. Australia’s iron ore shipments finished out the year at 317.9 million tons, up considerably from 2012’s total of 249.7 million tons.