02 November 2009 17:55 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Eastbound transatlantic freight rates slipped for small and large cargoes due to weakening chemical demand, brokers said on Monday.
A falloff in spot business on eastbound lanes brought a decrease in both sizes of US Gulf-Rotterdam freight rates.
On shipments of 5,000 tonnes or more, prices fell to $38-43/tonne (€26-29/tonne) from $40-45/tonne, sources said. On 2,000-tonne cargoes, rates fell to $53-58/tonne from $55-60/tonne.
Rates remained unchanged on the westbound transatlantic leg.
A large broker said new vessels entering the route had put downward pressure on rates, with three shipowners - Fairfield, Bryggen and Atlas - working to fill space on four vessels for first-half November loading.
The broker said at least four other owners had vessels fully open for November loading, with more expected to become available in the US Gulf and Caribbean.
Another broker said the fall usually brings great activity from suppliers on both sides of the Atlantic. Suppliers typically try to reduce inventory for the year's end, while customers are intent on restocking.
However, such business has not materialised, the broker said. "This is the time of year when it should be busier."
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