Time charter rates in the multipurpose shipping sector have declined over the last month, according to the latest data from shipbroker Toepfer Transport.
According to Toepfer, the average daily time charter rate for a 12,500 dwt/F-type heavy lift vessel was USD7,524 in May 2019, a fall of USD86 in comparison April 2019.
The rate, however, is still an increase on the May 2018 figures, which averaged out at USD7,247.
Operators in the multipurpose and heavy lift shipping sector are, in general, decidedly more positive this year in comparison to last. Maritime consultancy Drewry is also bullish about the prospects for the year ahead and forecasts improving rates through 2019, fuelled by rising volumes of project cargo traffic.
Still, the rates remain on the low side. John Pittalis, marketing and communications manager at Singapore-headquartered AAL, explained: “A historic oversupply of tonnage, declining demand for project cargo and competition from other sectors such as bulkers, ro-ro and container carriers, have all led to freight rates far below breakeven levels and this has still been the case so far in 2019.”
However, he added that the sector is now seeing the green shoots of recovery. One area that is bolstering this uptick is the renewable energy sector. This, combined with an increase in oil and gas offshore project work over the next few years, could see the multipurpose and heavy lift sector pick up, as the two sectors compete for tonnage availability.
Toepfer's monthly TMI index is based on six to 12-month time charter rates and is compiled using data obtained from operators, owners and brokers.