19 July 2013 03:39 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Congestion in Saudi ports is worsening during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan as port employees work reduced hours, according to shipping and industry sources on Friday.
“There are delays in Saudi ports. Yes, slightly worse than before. Workers are only on shift for 5-6 hours,” said a source close to a major Indian petrochemical producer.
The month-long Ramadan started in early July, and coincides with the hot summer months in the Middle East.
“The officials stop work [intermittently] when it gets too hot,” added a southeast Asian shipowner.
However, cargo movements should slow significantly ahead of Eid-ul-Fitri in early August.
“As Ramadan ends and Eid nears, more and more people will be on leave so contract discussions will come to a standstill. With lesser cargoes, the congestion should ease,” said a separate southeast Asian shipping source.
Freight rates for 5,000 tonne vessels from Al-Jubail to India are heard at mid $30s/tonne (€23/tonne), while similar-sized ships from Al-Jubail to China are quoted at mid $50s/tonne.
($1 = €0.76)
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