Activity in the European Short Sea Bulk market remained flat to soft last week, the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) said in its Shipping Market Review for the week 26, 2014 citing the latest report from H.C. Shipping & Chartering.
The report further read that the keenness amongst shipowners to keep vessels employed amidst low activity from cargo owners ensured downward pressure on freight rates continued.
In keeping with developments in recent weeks, the summer market lull has truly set in earlier than usual, with steady bunker prices providing the only support to already depressed rates as cargo owners continue to bid lower.
Average short sea rates have now fallen steadily for the last three months and little change is expected in the near term.
Optimism for shipowners will centre on the bumper crop harvest forecast for the end of summer, although it remains too early to determine with any certainty the magnitude of effect it will have on the market.
IMDO, July 2, 2014