The Mn ore stocks in ports of China peaked at a record high level of 5.83 million tonnes on week 37, climb another +1% w-on-w. The total allocated Mn ore storages have been filled to capacity in Tianjin and almost full in Qinzhou resulting in vessels unloading disruptions which translate in extensive vessel waiting for berthing times. Normally, it takes from zero up to two days for a vessel to be unloaded in port. As of week 37, the delays often stretch between 5-10 days.
Consequently, there was a record low total volume delivered to ports of China last week owing to ports running out of storage capacities for Mn ore – 273 thousand tonnes (-63% w-on-w). The ongoing vessels discharge disruptions have kept the MTD deliveries to China cramped (-37% m-on-m and -33% y-on-y).
The total volume awaiting berthing in ports of China is currently standing at 1.29 million tonnes while a major share of this is kept rolling over into the next week for at least 3 weeks now. It would suggest shippers effectively using vessels as floating storages.
The ongoing delays in discharge results in inflating costs for shipping companies who in turn were reportedly attempting to forward these costs onto shippers via higher freight rates.
The shippers are actively looking for opportunities to change the port of destination. We are aware of at least several vessels that have changed their destination from Tianjin to other ports with Caofeidian being the primary port of choice. The total reallocated volume on week 37 is estimated at about 130 thousand tonnes.
LCIB have learned that shippers/shipping agents have engaged Tianjin port authority requesting additional allocation of storage capacities for Mn/Cr ores at the soonest possibility.
Notably, South32 (shipments ex-AUS and SAR) have been the most affected Mn ore shipper in Tianjin to date, with their unloading delays during August/September ranging between 4 to 10 days. As of mid-September, South Africa’s Sebilo, Tshipi, WMA have also been affected by delays.
Source: Roman Kucinskij Managing Director at LCIB