2021 PREVIEW: Markets wary of worsening shipping problems ahead of Chinese New Year

Shipping problems faced by commodity market participants are likely to get worse ahead of Chinese New Year on February 12, 2021, sources told Fastmarkets.

Freight rates for both bulk vessels and containers have soared to record highs in recent months amid a perfect storm of higher global shipping demand and rising crude oil costs.
Those involved in the container trade have been particularly hurt, facing an acute shortage of containers, shipping lines canceling existing contracts and a cut in free days granted to unload cargo.
Prospects dim for early 2021
But sources said that those hoping for 2021 to quickly bring some respite to commodity shipping will be disappointed.
“I think things will remain tight ahead of Chinese New Year. UK container freight to South Asia will rise by another $350-400 per container from December but is nobody is talking about container allocation, so we are totally in the dark,” a major steel and non-ferrous scrap exporter said.

“As a result, we cannot offer steel scrap for January shipment. It will take until the...

Published

Lee Allen

Ewa Manthey

Alice Mason

Davide Ghilotti

December 22, 2020

17:16 GMT

Singapore, London