The market floundered this week as it attempted to find a floor after the previous weeks plunge. Demand remained weak across most routes. The Atlantic incurred some heavy losses on a few days throughout the week before the tide appeared to turn on Friday. Stronger fronthaul numbers were being heard fixed late on Friday, while bids were heard to be lifting on C14 Brazil to China due to a lack of offers in the market. The West Australia to Qingdao C5 market lifted today to settle at $9.168. The Pacific had reasonable activity throughout the week but remains now within a range of $8.50 to $9.50. Being in the seasonal high Q4 period forward rates are elevated from today’s level, yet this is tempered on the spot by the weak demand. The Capesize 5TC opened the week at $24,916, reached a low of $23,425 Thursday, before closing up Friday +$250 to settle at $23,675.
It was a week with continuous fall in the Atlantic basin whilst brokers were seeing signs of improvement in the Pacific as North Pacific grain lending support. The Baltic Panamax Index (BPI) stopped falling on Friday and returned to the positive territory in the last day of the week, with a strong push from the East. A Kamsarmax open Ghent went for a trip via the Baltic back to Skaw-Gibraltar in the mid $15,000s. More fixtures reported from East Coast South America, with the rates largely based on APS instead of DOP or retro Singapore delivery. 82,000dwt vessels were reportedly fixed for trips from East Coast South America to Singapore-Japan in the range of $16,000s to $17,000s plus a ballast bonus of $600,000s to $700,000s, depending on the vessel specifications and performance. In the Pacific, a 93,000dwt ship open North China was fixed for Indonesia loading at a rate in the $12,000s, with redelivery in Taiwan. A similar-sized ship open in the same area was booked at $15,250 for an Australia round voyage.
Overall, the Baltic Supramax Index (BSI) lost ground during the week, however, there was a spilt in direction between basins as the week progressed. Limited period activity surfaced, with both charterers and owners awaiting a clear direction in the market. The Atlantic was a mixed bag. A lack of fresh enquiry from East Coast South America led to lower rates, with a 56,000dwt ship fixing a trip to the West Mediterranean at around $18,500. A quiet start from the US Gulf, but as the week closed, increased activity was seen. A 57,000dwt ship rumoured fixed from here and redelivery Portugal at $19,250. From the East Mediterranean after recent gains the rates eased. From Asia, whilst limited activity was recorded in the North due to local holiday, fresh cargo enquiry from Southeast Asia later in the week led to some routes gaining ground. A 56,000dwt ship fixed delivery Philippines trip via Indonesia redelivery India in the upper $12,000s.
With the long holiday in China, the Handysize market lost momentum and routes across the board lost ground. Limited fresh activity was reported, but brokers said the market was still lacking fresh enquiry in many areas. In the Atlantic, a 38,900dwt vessel was fixed for a trip delivery US Gulf, redelivery Continent, in the mid $16,000s. From the Continent, a 34,000dwt ship was failed for a trip delivery Skaw via the Baltic to the Black Sea at around $14,000. Limited action was reported from East Coast South America. It was a similar story from the Asian arena, with rates remaining under pressure. A 32,000dwt vessel, open Vietnam, was fixed for a trip to Singapore at $8,350 whilst further North, a 29,000dwt ship was fixed at $8,000 from CJK trip via Japan redelivery Indonesia with steels. It remains to be seen how the market fares this week once the participants return form their holiday.
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