Westbound transatlantic rates rise slightly on year-end traffic

14 December 2012 18:38  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical freight rates on the westbound transatlantic route out of Europe rose $2/tonne on large and small cargoes this week from year-end moves to reduce stock levels, brokers said on Friday.

Westbound rates from Rotterdam to Houston on shipments for 5,000 tonnes or more rose to $55-60/tonne from $53-58/tonne previously, according to brokers.

Rates on parcels of 2,000 tonnes also inched up to $42-47/tonne from the previous $40-45/tonne, brokers said.

Brokers said chemical market participants are shipping as much as they can with the year-end approaching, which often happens in November and December. One source said interest in benzene, toluene and xylenes (BTX) has boosted rates.

"This activity is usual for the time of year,” the source said. “Rates may dip in January as activity will slow for Christmas and traders will be on holiday."

Rates on the eastbound leg of the route remained unchanged, at $60-65/tonne on 2,000 tonnes or more and $45-50/tonne on 5,000 tonnes or larger, sources said.

The latest Odin Marine Group report called trading conditions from Houston to Rotterdam “too harsh” for any spot cargoes.

“Most owners are hesitant to go on berth to Europe in this tradelane as other regions are more attractive,” the report said.

($1 = €0.76)

Additional reporting by Sarah Trinder

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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