The Drewry Multipurpose Time Charter Index tracks one-year period charter rates across a basket of vessel types and sizes and forecasts the market movement over the coming month. The vessel types include breakbulk and project cargo ships.
The Drewry Multipurpose Time Charter Index increased to $10,575 per day in December, representing a rise of just 0.8% compared to the 1.9% rise seen in the previous month, as the end of year holidays meant that rates, especially in the short-sea sector were subdued. Drewry’s Index is up 63% since the start of the year and 69% since December 2020. Drewry expects the index to rise a further 1.7% in January to reach $10,750 per day.
Although rates slowed further to the end of the year, we do expect momentum to pick up swiftly over January 2022. The supply constraints in the container market, due to ongoing port congestion and port closures on account of Omicron concerns, are still the biggest demand driver for this sector. Breakbulk cargoes continue to seek out available multipurpose vessels, including the widely reported bags of coffee beans being shipped to the US. MPV tonnage is expected to continue to be used to alleviate the supply shortages in the container sector well into 2022.
For the larger project carriers the pickup in offshore wind projects, a significant forecast from COP26, has meant that those owners who can build are favouring these vessel types in anticipation of a potential demand surge in 2023. All of which underpins our continued (cautious) optimism for this sector.