Freight rates to carry a 60,000 mt grain cargo from Odessa, Ukraine to Alexandria, Egypt, on a Panamax-size vessel have dropped to a 16 week-low of $15.75/mt amid a lack of fresh cargoes.
Stay up to date with the latest commodity content. Sign up for our free daily Commodities Bulletin.
Sign Up Since hitting an all-time high of $17.25/mt on October 4, rates have dropped 9%, S&P Global Platts data showed.
Ukrainian corn hit a 12 month low of $162.75/mt on October 23, but there have been few fresh sales from Ukraine on the back of low demand from Egypt, sources said, adding that charterers have been favoring smaller vessels such as Handysizes for 25,000 mt cargoes.
“Grain houses calculate and sell aggressively, always trying to get the cheapest rates. Also, Ukraine port charges are expensive,” a shipowner source said
The risk of entering the Black Sea and “getting stuck” waiting for a cargo was too great, according to a second shipowner source, with charterers willing to wait for the right price and Panamax owners having large expenses.