The Drewry Multipurpose Time Charter Index increased to USD10,575 per day in December, up 0.8 percent over the November 2021 figure.
The rate of increase slowed compared to the October-November figure, where rates climbed 1.9 percent. Drewry’s index is up 63 percent since the start of 2021 and 69 percent since December 2020. Drewry expects the index to rise a further 1.7 percent in January to reach USD10,750 per day.
“Although rates slowed further to the end of the year, we do expect momentum to pick up swiftly over January 2022. The supply constraints in the container market, due to ongoing port congestion and port closures on account of Omicron concerns, are still the biggest demand driver for this sector,” said the analyst. “Breakbulk cargoes continue to seek out available multipurpose vessels, including the widely reported bags of coffee beans being shipped to the USA. Multipurpose tonnage is expected to continue to be used to alleviate the supply shortages in the container sector well into 2022,” it added.
For the larger project carriers, the pickup in offshore wind projects, a significant forecast from COP26, has meant that those owners who can build are favouring these vessel types in anticipation of a potential demand surge in 2023 – all of which underpins continued (cautious) optimism for this sector.