INTERNATIONAL MARKET ANALYSIS
Rates for Panamax size ships on the U.S. Gulf to Japan benchmark route are down almost $10 dollars a ton from the beginning of last month. (See PDF version for chart). In early December, the route was trading above $70 a ton and very close to breaking the record $80 per ton reached in February 2004. The recent decline in rates is attributed to normal seasonal holiday slowdown; rates are expected to rebound on continued strong demand for coal, iron ore, and grain by China and other Pacific Rim countries.
For more information, contact Zachary Taylor at (202-690-4200) or Zach.Taylor@usda.gov
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