Drewry’s multipurpose time charter index held firm in April at USD11,170 per day, halting the previous month’s decline.
The analysis said that it had expected a slight softening but rates were held up by Chinese lockdowns and extended Easter holidays in Europe. Going forward, it expects the weakening trend to return in May with the index dropping, albeit by less than 0.5 percent to USD11,120 per day.
“April has been characterised by a wait and see approach from shippers as various Easter holidays produced a month of stop-start activity,” said Drewry. “Add to this the impact of Chinese lockdowns on both port operations and manufacturing output, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine taking the Black Sea market to new depths and sky-high fuel prices.
“Going forward into May and the likelihood is the pent-up demand in China should support the longer-haul, heavy lift sector, however will that be released in time to affect this month’s spot rates? We think that is unlikely and container rates will continue to soften. The driving factor for the multipurpose market over the last 12 months has been the spill over cargo from the container sector, whether that is containers themselves or commodities that have moved back to breakbulk.”