China demand perking up US-Asia freight rates – shipper

03 December 2009 22:10  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS news)--A recent bump up in demand in China for a range of commodities helped perk up chemical tanker freight rates on US-to-Asia routes, the president of brokerage Sound Tanker Chartering said on Thursday.

"China came to life last month," Jeff Mavelli told the ICIS Pan-American Base Oils & Lubricants Conference in New York.

Mavelli said the upturn was apprently due to pent-up demand that was unleashed after October's 60th anniversary celebrations of the Chinese regime, which were marked by national holidays.

Freight markets in general had been on a downward slope over the past year until recent weeks, he said.

But the upturn would likely be short-lived, Mavelli said.

"The temporary bump up will be just that temporary," he predicted.

The Chinese new year celebrations in early 2010 would probably mark a slowdown in the freight market, he said.

Freight rates for 5,000 tonne chemical parcels on the US Gulf-Asia-Pacific route are currently around $55-65/tonne (€36-43/tonne), according to data from global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

($1 = €0.66)

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By: Stephen Burns
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