Ocean Freight Comments
Transportation and Export Report: Jay O’Neil, O’Neil Commodity Consulting: Dry-bulk ocean freight markets continue to steam in circles without clear direction. Last week, markets were down about $1/MT and this week they are back up $1. Vessel owners are still hoping for a resurgence in demand and an upward trajectory in rates; but cargo demand has not grown to a level to support that yet. The slowdown in Chinese imports of coal and iron ore has undermined Capesize vessel markets which, in turn, has limited the upside potential for other vessel sectors.
The two biggest news items in container shipping markets are first, the port city COVID lockdowns in China and the logistical problems that they bring, and second, the difficult rail service problems on the U.S. West Coast.