The freight rates to carry a 60,000 mt grain cargo from Odessa, Ukraine to Alexandria, Egypt, on a Panamax-size vessel have dropped to a 16 week-low of $15.75/mt amid a lack of fresh cargoes.
S&P Global Platts data showed that since hitting an all-time high of $17.25/mt on October 4, rates have dropped 9%.
12 month low
On October 23, Ukrainian corn hit a 12 month low of $162.75/mt but there have been few fresh sales from Ukraine on the back of low demand from Egypt. Moreover, the charterers have been favoring smaller vessels such as Handysizes for 25,000 mt cargoes.
A shipowner source said, “Grain houses calculate and sell aggressively, always trying to get the cheapest rates. Also, Ukraine port charges are expensive”.
Long waiting time
According to a second shipowner source, the risk of entering the Black Sea and getting stuck waiting for a cargo was too great with charterers willing to wait for the right price and Panamax owners having large expenses.
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