Market Perspectives July 12, 2013

Ocean Freight Comments

Transportation and Export Report: Jay O’Neil, O’Neil Commodity Consulting: Slow steaming is the preferred method of operation for most vessels, and the same can be said for ocean freight markets. World freight markets seem to be in slow steaming mode and are not traveling too far too fast. It was another fairly uneventful week with rates little changed. The market has received some support from improved grain business out of the Black Sea, US Gulf and South America. Cheap grain and freight prices are generating some additional demand, and even U.S. export lineups are improving. The Baltic indices were up a little for the week, but I have not seen any substantial movement in the physical freight rate structure. I am therefore leaving rates unchanged until I see verifiable movement in one direction or the other.

No significant new news in the PNW Grain elevator labor situation. The wheat harvest is progressing in the South and Central U.S., so we need to monitor the port situation closely.

Below is a recent history of freight values for Capesize vessels of iron ore from Western Australia to China:

The charts below represent Jan.-Dec. 2011 and 2012, annual totals versus Jan.- April. (2013) container shipments for Taiwan.