US Gulf-to-Asia chem freight rates rop $5/tonne on less traffic

10 January 2014 21:15 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US Gulf-to-Asia chemical freight rates for large shipments dropped $5/tonne this week on a decline in traffic stemming from a carryover in sluggishness from late December, brokers said on Friday.

Rates fell on shipments of 5,000 tonnes or more to $90-95/tonne from $95-100/tonne previously. Rates remained unchanged on 2,000-tonne shipments at $115-125/tonne.

It marked the first reduction on the USG-Asia route in more than six months, following six increases since last June. The route had been the most active of the major trade lanes out of the US for months as producers filled cargoes to feed China’s appetite for chemicals, particularly aromatics and glycols.

But new activity on the trade lane has dwindled, with only a small handful of new fixtures this week.

Shipments from Texas and Louisiana included a few styrene, ethylene dichloride (EDC) and monoethylene glycol (MEG) cargoes going to India and Asia. Brokers said there was still space available.

By Lane Kelley