Reduced port congestion dragging down global bulk freight rates

Bulk freight rates for key steel products have receded over recent weeks amid shrinking port congestion in China and improved vessel availability, sources have told Fastmarkets.

A slowdown in Chinese commodity imports, coming at a time of crashing steel prices in the country, has allowed congestion at the country’s ports to unwind in recent weeks, markets participants said.
Freight rates first dropped for large bulk commodities such as iron ore and coal in mid-October, when capesize rates published by shipbrokers Simpson Spence Young (SSY) recorded a steep $4.60-per tonne week-on-week decline in the West Australia-China voyage. SSY's Pacific capesize index fell to its lowest level since July 2021 on November 8 before paring some of those losses last week.
But the freight drops have recently started to filter down into steel and steel scrap markets.


Lee Allen

November 19, 2021

16:41 GMT