Iron-Ore Port Congestion Declines 23% on Brazil, ViaMar Says

Iron-ore port congestion dropped 23 percent last week as waiting times decreased in Brazil, according to shipping consultant ViaMar AS.

An extra 12.9 million deadweight tons of capacity a year was needed because of delays, compared with 16.9 million tons the week before, Oslo-based ViaMar said in a report today. That equates to about 6.5 percent of the total fleet of capesizes, the largest ships that carry iron ore, according to data from Redhill, England-based IHS Fairplay.

Daily capesize rents have fallen 27 percent to $23,458 from the 2011 high reached Oct. 25, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange, which assesses shipping rates on global maritime routes. Brazil is the second-largest exporter of iron ore, a steelmaking raw material, after Australia.

The South American country’s shipments of the ore dropped 14 percent in October from August’s three-year high, according to the trade ministry.

In total, congestion last week tied up the equivalent of 21.8 million tons of capacity a year, down 20 percent from 27.2 million tons the week before, ViaMar said.

Congestion at coal ports slid 14 percent as wait times eased in Australia and Indonesia, according to the report. A fire at the Dalrymple Bay coal terminal in Australia may affect loading times as the repairs take at least six weeks, the report showed.

ViaMar bases its congestion figures on waiting times at ports and volumes transported, according to analyst Anders Lunde.

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