The summer lull is here to stay, at least judging on demand on the European short sea bulk market, which resumes a downward course as the activity persists on flat/soft level.
Depression of demand, coupled with an abundance of spot tonnage across all areas resulted in a rush of interest from ship owners for the limited firm cargoes entering the market, according to the Irish Maritime Development Office’s (IMDO) review for the past week.
Rates accordingly were placed under downward pressure, although the scope for further decline continues to lessen as the market reaches its bottom.
Compared to previous years, summer 2014 looks set to be one of the weakest, with rates currently 10% lower than the same period last year.
“In the short term, any upturn is dependent on how the summer harvest impacts the marketplace. During the past week, an increasing number of grain cargoes have been entering the market, but weak demand from other sectors has caused rates to remain flat to soft, a trend which is expected to continue in the coming couple of weeks,” said IMDO.
IMDO, July 24, 2014