Bulker owner Grindrod Shipping has posted a first quarter loss of $4.3m as the Singapore-based company succumbed to the weaker dry freight rates.

Twelve months ago, the US and South Africa-listed company posted a net profit of just over $29m for the corresponding period.

“Charter rates decreased given the seasonally weak start to the year, compounded by a particularly early Chinese New Year,” said recently appointed chief executive Edward Buttery.