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Breakbulk Indices Extend Fall Led by Short Term Demand and Sector Competition

The Toepfer’s Multipurpose Index (TMI) which signifies the monthly average time-charter equivalent rates crept into the red territory for the ninth straight month losing about 2.09%. The index which has pared 36.8% of its gains from the peak of USD 23,099 witnessed in July 2022 is still at 2x the pre-pandemic levels. It is higher than the post-pandemic average of USD 13,465 which could be an important support point in the spot market. Despite a decent pipeline demand for breakbulk cargo expected in the medium term, further supported by the renewables and offshore space backed by uptick in Chinese manufacturing data, there is a glut of conversion of this demand in the short term, which has seeped onto correction in spot rates.

The Drewry’s Multipurpose Time Charter Index too shed another 2.7% for the month to end at USD 9,175, still above the post-pandemic average of USD 8,596. While the agency maintained a hawkish outlook for the rates, they also did maintain the rates to float above pore-pandemic levels, unlike its container counterparts. However, the significant dip in rates for the container sector has led to the container carriers trying to take a pie of the project cargo and loose bulk items. The index is expected to dip by 1.1% targeting a level of USD 9,069 for its next monthly quote.

Author of the article: Gautham Krishnan

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