Freight rates for multipurpose shipping are set to improve by the end of 2017, according to the latest data from maritime consultancy Drewry.
“Slow growth in supply, alongside better growth in demand, is expected to help multipurpose charter rates in 2017 and beyond, supported by a recovery in the dry bulk market, albeit a slow one,” said Susan Oatway, lead analyst for multipurpose shipping at Drewry.
The firm’s forecasts suggest that the multipurpose shipping market’s share of overall dry cargo demand is expected to grow at just under 2 percent per year to 2020.
“It is the competition for cargoes from bulk carriers and container ships that will keep rates in this section of the market subdued for at least another 12 months. Until rate increases are sustained in the bulk carrier and container ship sectors, there will be little reprieve in their drive to obtain further market share,” Oatway said.
Despite a return to growth in freight rates, Drewry predicts little overall growth in fleet numbers as investment in the multipurpose sector is expected to be predominantly in project carriers with a lift of 100 tonnes or more whilst general cargo ships will decline.
“The oversupply situation, which has dogged this sector for many years, is expected to level out in the medium term,” Oatway added.
The global fleet of project carriers is expected to increase by three percent per annum till 2020 while general cargo vessels numbers will decrease by two percent, leading to overall MPV fleet growth of less than one percent per annum to 2020.
The figures are published in Drewry’s Multipurpose Shipping Market Review and Forecaster report.
Photo: Multipurpose freight rates are set to improve by the end of 2017. Credit: Wikimedia