Multipurpose Rates Continue to Improve

(Global) Drewry, Toepfer Point to Positive Momentum

Multipurpose rates continue to strengthen in 2021, with research consultancy Drewry Maritime reporting a rise of 3.8 percent for January compared to the previous month.

Drewry's Multipurpose Time Charter Index showed rates increased to US$6,530 per day in January.
“Rates continued to rise in all sectors over January fueled by the capacity problems in the container market. These led to multipurpose vessels being chartered to carry empty containers, for repositioning purposes, plus an increase in breakbulk demand, as these commodities were no longer worth enough to stuff into containers," a spokesperson for Drewry said.

Stronger Than Expected

Drewry noted that the increased demand was "even stronger than we had been expecting," and was a strong indicator for improving operating environment in the first half of 2021.

“Drewry expects the index to rise a further 2.2 percent in February to reach US$6,675 per day,” the firm’s analysts said.
The Multipurpose Time Charter Index tracks charter rates over a one-year period and compares a basket of vessel types and sizes to forecast the market movement over the coming month.

“Going forward we expect this to continue, especially as there is already a market expectation that the usual slowdown for Chinese New Year holidays will not be taking place this year. The steady demand levels across all vessel types underpins our positive expectations for the short-term rate forecast,” Drewry said.

Toepfer Index Strengthens

German shipping consultancy Toepfer Transport meanwhile reported an improvement in its multipurpose index, with rates increasing to US$7,146 for February. This marks a significant improvement from U$7,005 in January and indicates steady progress in returning to pre-covid level of US$7,422 seen in Febraury last year.
The firm’s Multipurpose Shipping Report is published monthly and provides an index based on a 12,500 deadweight-tonne multipurpose /heavy-lift F-Type vessel for a six to 12-month charter period.
Headquartered in Hamburg, Toepfer Transport is one of the largest S&P brokers in the city and its research department has a particular focus on the MPV/heavy-lift market.
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