This article has been reprinted from USDA's Nov. 7 Grain Transportation Report.
Although still higher than the beginning of the year, ocean freight rates for shipping bulk grain hit the lowest level since the past 12 weeks.
For the week ending October 31, the rate for shipping a metric ton (mt) of grain from the U.S. Gulf to Japan was $49.50.
This was 5 percent more than the beginning of the year, but 2 percent less than the previous week.
The rate from PNW to Japan was $27 per mt, 8 percent more than the beginning of the year, but 4 percent less than the previous week.
The last time ocean freight rates were at this level was during the week ending August 8, 2019.
It is uncertain how long the ocean freight rates will remain at this level given the impending International Maritime Organization’s regulation on sulfur emission effective January 1, 2020.
The regulation could impact the supply of bulk vessels in the near term (see October 31, Grain Transportation Report).