Panamax grains cargo freight rates from the East Coast of South America have reached near four-year highs and are set to go even higher in mid-October as bunker fuel prices continue to soar, market sources said.
IFO 380 CST was assessed up $10 to $532/mt in Santos on Thursday, up 22% since September 5. The Santos to Qingdao, 60,000 mt grains route was assessed at $39.25/mt on Thursday and Friday, the highest since S&P Global Platts began assessing the route in December 2014.
“Owners may soon be asking well into the $18,000s/day on time charter for Panamax vessels from the ECSA,” a ship broker source said. “Especially at a time when bunker fuel prices are so high. Owners are asking crazy numbers to try and hedge against the bunker increases — we could see the voyage rate hit $40/mt by next week.”