Charter rate for the multipurpose vessels
remained flat during the month of April, as new Covid lockdowns in China
stopped the downwards trajectory. However, shipping consultancy, Drewry,
expects its Multipurpose Time Charter Index to slip slightly again in May.
During the month of April, Drewry’s
Multipurpose Time Charter Index stopped at $11,170 per day, flat compared to
the previous month. While the consultancy expected the softening of the rates
to continue in April, China’s Covid restrictions and extended Easter holidays
in Europe postponed the rates softening.
Going forward we
expect the weakening trend to return in May
“Going forward we expect the weakening
trend to return in May with the Index dropping, albeit by less than 0.5 percent
to $11,120 per day,” the report says.
April has been
characterised by a wait and see approach from shippers as various Easter holidays produced a
month of stop-start activity. 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 MPV 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.
There may be a
renewed rate growth over the summer as China comes back online
Over the next month
Drewry expects the ongoing weakness in the Handy sector will help to keep spot
rate rises subdued, as they add to the competition for breakbulk cargo, however
there may be a renewed rate growth over the summer as China comes back online.