The Drewry Multipurpose Time Charter Index increased to $10,294 per day in October, representing a rise of just 2.5% compared to the 5.3% rise seen in the previous month, as the continued capacity constraints kept the spot market demand high but the forward projection for both container and bulk markets started to weaken.

According to Drewry, their Index is up 61% since the start of the year and 72% since October 2020. Drewry expects the index to rise a further 1.5% in November to reach $10,450 per day.

The short-sea sector continued to rise strongly over October as demand levels remained high and spot vessels scarce. The end of the year is usually a peak demand period for this sector. While this has been an unprecedented year, and we are yet to return to ‘normal’, we would not expect there to be a significant change to this trend over the next few months. Indeed our expectation is that short-sea rates could keep the Index firm.

In contrast, the weakening of the dry bulk rates over the start of November, albeit from exceptional highs, and the unofficial capping of container freight rates, gives rise to the expectation that period rates for the larger, heavylift capable vessels may start to plateau to the end of the year. There has been some activity on the spot market again and this will also add to a softer market outlook.

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