The firm market holds on during the last days before Christmas holidays will start in Europe as it was expected before. Owners can still pick out the cherries as demand remains strong and spot supply is very tight. A broker active in the region told BMTI that there are “almost no vessels available at the Baltic” – a commentary putting a smile on owners face. It is a hard work for charterers to cover stems up to the end of December as spot freight rates keep heading north. Especially there is some urgency for shipments into the UK. The Brexit discussions going on with the EU made the pound drop last week some 2.2% which is the currency’s worst performance during the last three months. And the uncertainties about the conditions to be observed from January on surely did not make shipping market participants happy. A clay shipment of 7,000mt into the Spanish Med has been concluded at a spot freight rate of around EUR 16.50/mt loading in Southern England while some EUR 14.50/mt has been talked for general cargo stems of 4-5,000mt into the lower Baltic with same delivery area. From the East Coast of Denmark scrap parcels of 4,000mt can be concluded at freight rates hovering around EUR 30/mt when destination is Casablanca. From the ARAG region cargoes are rumoured at some EUR 18-19/mt for 7-8,000mt heading into Portugal. With the holiday disruption and the pre-Brexit nail-biting coming to an end the short-term sentiment points to a slowing momentum in the market lying ahead.
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