Petrochemicals of US origin bound for the Far East Asia are expected to lose some of their price competitiveness as freight rates from US have surged US$20/mt (23%) month-on-month for 5,000-12,000 mt from the US Gulf Coast to Far East Asia to stand at US$103-110/mt on Friday, as per Platts. "Demand for chemical freight is huge in USG, and there is hardly any ship available at the moment," a ship broker based in Singapore said.
Tonnage is extremely tight for December even going into January. Most producers were heard to be actively looking for freight as they want to move their cargo out before December 31. Due to the tight amount of tonnage, rates are expected to remain firm well into January. A surplus of ships is expected at end January to February, which may drag freight rates from Far East Asia down.