Record for deep-sea fuel charges

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Average bunker fuel prices on the Far East -North Europe trade are 30 per cent higher than at the same time last year, according to shipping analyst Alphaliner.

Rising fuel costs mean that average Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF) charged by carriers will reach $776/teu in June 2011, surpassing the previous record level of $766/teu that was applied by the FEFC in September 2008.

The average BAF calculated by Alphaliner is based on a survey of 12 carriers who have announced their BAF surcharge in June, which range from a low of $703/teu to a high of $832/teu.

The BAF system charges for changes above the base level. However, said Alphaliner, the application and calculations of the BAF surcharge are often opaque, with widely varying formulas and base rates being used while savings from slow steaming and the use of more efficient ships are not fully passed back to shippers.

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