South America’s Grain Harvest Raises Ocean Freight Rates
Ocean freight rates for shipping bulk grains have inched up slightly over the past month due to bulk shipments from South America’s grain and soybean harvest and increased global demand for iron ore and coal.
The reported wait for vessels at the port of Santos, Brazil is as long as 54 days to load grains, soybeans, and sugar, soaking up much of the Panamax vessel supply.
Ongoing logistical delays in South America could give the United States a temporary competitive advantage, boosting U.S. grain shipments.
As of March 8, the ocean freight rate for shipping bulk grain through the Gulf to Japan was $48 per metric ton (mt) and $25 per mt through the Pacific Northwest to Japan—both were 4 percent higher than last month.