10 March 2011 20:46 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical freight rates on the US Gulf-Brazil route rose this week because of rising southbound traffic, partly caused by ethanol shipping, brokers said on Thursday.
An increase in spot cargoes on that leg brought a $10/tonne (€7.2/tonne) rise in USG-Brazil freight rates to $70-75/tonne on 2,000-tonne shipments, brokers said.
Some of the hike stems from heavy traffic in ethanol from the US to Brazil, a surprising trade considering Brazil’s status as the world’s leading ethanol exporter.
“It’s like sending coals to Newcastle,” a US broker said, using a traditional expression for doing something considered foolhardy or pointless.
But sending ethanol to Brazil this year is necessary, brokers said this week, because the country could run out of material before the new sugarcane crop is harvested in April and May.
Another broker said contract business on the southbound route has been steady among the three major carriers - Stolt, Odfjell and Chembulk - and that the ethanol traffic has boosted the spot trade.
Odin Marine Group noted a rare Texas-Brazil cargo in its latest report – 40,000 cubic metres of ethanol (31,600 tonnes) on the Siteam Discoverer going from Houston to Santos, loading in late March.
($1 = €0.72)
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