Drewry: multipurpose vessel rates slide in September with more to come
Spot rates in the container and bulk sectors have slipped sharply over the month of September, even more than predicted by the maritime consultancy Drewry. The Drewry Multipurpose Time Charter Index slipped to an average of $10,075 per day, 5.4 percent down from the previous month.
Spot rates in both the container and bulk sectors lost between 10 percent and 30 percent of their value over the month, taking MPV charter rates down with them. Drewry’s prediction for October is more of the same, with increasing global uncertainty, small shifts in demand weakening the market further, with the index likely to decline by a further 5 percent.
Over September Handy bulk rates softened as tonnage availability increased, while container rates practically fell off the cliff, losing in excess of 30 percent of their value. Although there are still pockets of congestion, in the main this is easing, while bunker prices are also lower. Rates are still at historically high levels but a realignment has begun in earnest as the container carriers assess their utilisation and demand weakens with rising concerns about inflation, energy prices and geopolitical uncertainty.
Going forward Drewry expect rates to continue to weaken, although remaining well above the market levels of 2020. The rising risk of recession in a number of developed countries, high inflation in the US and the slowing housing market in China are all adding to the increasing uncertainty for this sector. The main positive on the horizon is renewables cargoes, particularly for wind energy. But this is very niche, for heavy-lift capable vessels only, so will not be enough to stem the downward trend.