FOCUS: South American steel markets affected by sharp rise in freight rates

The rise in bulk freight rates, especially from Asia, has dramatically boosted seaborne steel prices and disrupted South American foreign trade, market participants told Fastmarkets in the week to Thursday February 25.

Trader sources have reported a material decrease in vessel availability, especially in China, that led to some steel mills cancelling their offers to the continent. Shipping companies provided a freight indication, but some could not guarantee delivery even if higher rates were to be paid.
Bulk freight rates have been boosted this week by strong demand for vessels, port congestion in Asia and the recent spike in oil prices.

Just before the Lunar New Year holiday (celebrated February 11-17), freight rates for China-Brazil routes had averaged $35-40 per tonne. On Monday February 22, some sales were reported with a $45- to $55-per-tonne freight rate, and by Thursday offers were pulled off with rates being indicated at $60-65 per tonne....


Felipe Peroni

Renato Rostás

February 25, 2021

23:30 GMT

São Paulo