Ocean Freight Comments
Transportation and Export Report: Jay O’Neil, O’Neil Commodity Consulting: It was not a very interesting week in world of ocean freight markets. A lack of any new supportive news caused the Baltic and Shanghai freight indices to move sideways to slightly lower for the week. All in all, the markets were mostly unchanged, but there is a softer tone to them. The biggest thing holding freight values at current levels is the vessel congestion in South America. Slow logistics always cause inefficiency in vessel utilization, as it soaks up excess freight for a period of time. The watch is still on for which vessel owners could be next to declare bankruptcy.
There is no significant 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. As you can see below, vessel lineups are very light in the States.
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 Vietnam.