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Asian countries considering containerised cereal imports

Asian countries considering containerised cereal imports

Hong Kong: Cereal importers in a number of Asian countries including India, China and South Korea have expressed an interest in importing their grain cargoes in containers in order to save transportation costs, reports the Financial Times. Although cereals are ordinarily imported in Handymax and Panamax vessels, recent surges in dry bulk prices have led imports to consider the use of containers as alternative transport methods.

This week, the Baltic dry index touch a record 7,474 points, allowing Panamax vessels to command a whopping $60,000 per day - a figure expected to increase over the next month if congestion continues. The current prices are estimated to cost importers up to $70 per tonne of grain, a figure much higher than the $40 it would cost to ship the same amount of grain in a container.
Although most container lines are predicting a tightening of available containerised tonnage from Asian countries that manufacture fabric and electronic items, particularly China, to destinations such as the US and Australia, a large percentage of container make the return trip empty - a trait that would embody cereal importers with a bargaining tool for prices.  [31/08/07]

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