Ocean Freight Comments
Transportation and Export Report: Jay O’Neil, O’Neil Commodity Consulting: It started out as an active week with rates climbing, but freight markets calmed down and leveled off on Thursdays close. Iron ore cargo demand is slipping back, and freight markets may be running out of fuel and momentum to push higher. Panamax FFA rates for June slipped from $25,250 to $24,500 while Q3 traded down to $23,000.
Container logistics are not really improving, and the difficult situation and high rates are negatively impacting U.S. grain exports via container. This week’s USDA figures show on 52,115 MT exported via container. It appears shippers and receivers will not see much relief until late in the year.
Please be aware that the U.S. Coast Guard has closed all Mississippi River Barge traffic at Memphis, Tennessee due to a crack in a bridge support. There are currently over 400 barges of all types of cargo stuck behind the stoppage point. This will cause major problems with New Orleans vessel loading logistics.