Grain News

Bulk Ocean Freight Rates Highest Since 2014

Date Posted: April 20, 2017

This article is reprinted from the USDA's April 20 Grain Transportation Report.

Ocean freight rates for shipping bulk grains reached the highest level since December 2014.

As of April 13, the rate for shipping a metric ton (mt) of grain from the U.S. Gulf to Japan was $40.25—64 percent above last year.

The rate from the Pacific Northwest (PNW) to Japan was $22.25 per mt—51 percent above last year.

Since the beginning of the year, the Gulf-to-Japan rate has increased 15 percent from $35 per mt and the PNW-to-Japan rate increased by 25 percent from $17.75 per mt.

The rates increases were driven by strong grain movements and increased demand for other bulk items such as coal, iron ore, and steel.

However, according to the April 13 Transportation and Export Report by O’Neil Commodity Consulting, Inc., the Baltic Dry-bulk Freight Forward Agreement market remains inverted, indicating that traders are not as optimistic about rates remaining at these levels into the third and fourth quarters of 2017.

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