The dry bulk market was on the rise once again yesterday, with the Baltic Dry Index (BDI), the industry’s benchmark, rising by 18 points, or 1.89% to 972 points. The Baltic's capesize index was up five points to 1,145 points, with average daily rates for capesizes up $66 at $3,486. The Baltic's panamax index gained 0.37 percent, with average daily earnings up $31 at $8,699. Average daily earnings for handysize and supramax ships were
also up, at $10,111 and $11,980, respectively.
In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Fearnleys said on the Capesize market that “another dismal week passes with Cape rates falling marginally. There is resistance to a further fall, but this is related to the bunkers having stabilized, thus there is little or no room for a further fall. Talks of Major Japanese owners considering cold layup of parts of the fleet, is good news, but more will need to follow if the market is to improve. The major operators continue to roll over their fleets, redelivering expensive vessels, and fixing in cheaper ones, thus we see continued activity for short period, with big optionality spreads. Volumes in both iron ore and coal are good, but there are just too many ships entering the market” said Fearnleys.
In a similar report, Shiptrade Services mentioned that “in the Atlantic market, the fronthaul closed at USD 18,750 reporting a decline of USD 1,750 mainly due to the absence of fresh cargoes and the heavy competition of tonnage at the area. The same reason affected negatively Transantlantic round which ended up at USD2,750 recording a downfall of USD 500. The same negative sentiment prevailed in the Pacific basin with the Far East round trips closed at USD 4,000” it stated.
On the Panamax front, Fearnleys noted that “the European crisis is not over after the Greek election. Demand for coal and steel production is down considerably from last year in the Western hemisphere. Added by a question mark to Chinese imports both for coal and iron ore, the overall sentiment is not only affected by oversupply. The Atlantic is fine-tuned but toppish with a steady flow of fresh requirements and less open positions. Rates hover at 10k for a T/A round and 17k+ for a long trip out. Driven by SE Asian coal the owners finally get a better return in the Eastern hemisphere. 7-8k average for rounds and five figures obtainable for ECSA rounds basis India/Singapore range. Period activity is low but levels have come up to 9-10k depending on delivery and specs. Owners are reluctant to relet longer period despite a flat almost non-moving forward curve for the next 12 months” it stated. Similarly, Shiptrade mentioned that “after the slow beginning of the week with lack of fresh cargoes and quite a few owners inevitably ballasting their vessels to Atlantic region, we saw some movement and a hint of pessimism mainly in the midweek with some very attractive rates. Transatlantic round closed at about USD 9,5/10,000 whilst fronthauls were fixed at levels of USD 17/18,000. In the Pacific basin this week started rather more aggressively. Indonesian and Australian cargo trading moved in satisfactory levels whereas NOPAC overall picture was not much positive in a continuation of last week’s low levels. However, we saw a respectful increase in the coal market on the Indo-South China route. As far as numerical terms are concerned, Indonesian and NOPAC rounds were fixed at the region of USD 5,5/6,000 and the period market also moved more or less at the same levels of USD 6,000” the Piraeus-based shipbroker noted.
Finally, on the Handy markets, Fearnleys stated that “slightly positive tendency for Supras in the Atlantic. Skaw deliveries fixed. Close to USD 6k, vs. low USD 5k last week for direction US Gulf. Return trips fixed USD 26k, up another USD 1k from last week. Fronthauls climbed steadily during the week, with prompt positions fixed USD 22k, up about USD 2k in a week. Rates for Supras open in SE Asia are firmer for prompt dates. Indo rounds can achieve USD 7-8k. A 57k dwt fixed USD 9k dop Thailand for an Indonesian coal cargo to EC India. Rates to WC India would be higher. There has been a force majeure declared at the iron ore loading port of Mormugao, which along with the prevailing monsoon will further pressurize rates. WCI-China rates are around USD 8k, slightly lower for S.African rounds, ECI-China rates are around USD 6.5k. Supras for short period is trading around USD 9.5k delivery China. Supras in the Red Sea are rating just under mid-teens for trip to India with ferts. There have been limited Nopac enquiries” the report concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide