21 September 2009 18:39 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Chemical tanker freight rates for small shipments on the US Gulf (USG) to Asia route fell last week for the second time in six weeks due to a falloff in Asian arbitrage opportunities and a seasonal slump, brokers said on Monday.
Thin activity prompted a $5/tonne (€3.4/tonne) reduction in USG-Asia Pacific freight rates for 2,000-tonne cargoes, to $80-90/tonne from $85-95/tonne, brokers said.
The last rate reduction for that size cargo on the route occurred on 7 August.
A large broker said a late-summer flurry of business for aromatics arbitrageurs has fallen off in recent weeks, with 65 vessels that ordinarily operate on the route now with open space for end of September and early-October loading.
Another broker said that the slowdown on the Asian route is seasonal, usually coming after the summer vacation season.
"The prime period for shipping is usually between mid-October and mid-December," he said. "I just don't see anything changing between now and then."
Rates for large shipments of 5,000 tonnes or more also fell last week.
($1 = €0.68)
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