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Dry Bulk: Capesizes Face More Headwinds

There was little support to be found for the Capesize market over the last week as dwindling rates and rising bunker prices slashed earnings for owners with the 5TC Weighted Average dropping to $7,390. The Pacific had little further left to drop as the transpacific C10 was priced at sub operating expense levels of $4,200. The Atlantic basin has fared slightly better, yet very few fixtures were heard. The Transatlantic C8 lowered – $8,100 over the week to settle at $11,200. Fronthaul business was more difficult to place over the week as shorter duration variants were seen to lower their values quicker, while longer haul trips proved more resistant to the negative sentiment. The negative sentiment ultimately proved too much for the C9 route and by the end of the week closed at $27,950, down -$7,825. The high price of fuel bunkers is coming at an inopportune time as they now take a large portion of voyage rate value having a detrimental effect on voyage rates. Both the West Australia to Qingdao C5 at $6.786 and the Brazil to China C3 at $17.28 came under heavy pressure.

Panamax

It was a further week in the doldrums for the Panamax market, as thin cargo volumes versus a long tonnage count continued to negatively impact the market. A distinct lack of mineral requirements in the North Atlantic only hindered matters. A 81,000-dwt settling for $18,500 for a NC South America Atlantic round, whilst in the South – despite reasonable demand – rates continued to ease with an armada of ballasting tonnage for charterers to pick from. Asia mirrored the Atlantic with a supply/demand imbalance. Minerals from Australia were perhaps the exception, but this did little to dent the tonnage count that existed and ultimately rates continued to ease further. Thursday came news of the lifting of the Indonesia coal export ban and sentiment flipped a little largely on the back of FFA’s improving. However, some felt it would be a while before any positive impact may be seen in the market with physical fundamentals principally unchanged.

Supramax / Ultramax

Negative sentiment generally was in the driving seat as most areas in the sector saw rates decline. There was a limited amount of period activity. A 60,000-dwt open Portugal was fixed for 11-13 months trading redelivery Atlantic at $25,000 with an option of worldwide redelivery paying $750,000 bonus. The Atlantic remained subdued with limited fresh enquiry from key areas such as the US Gulf and East Coast South America. A 61,000-dwt fixed from the US Gulf for a trip to the Red Sea at $41,000. From the West Mediterranean, a 50,000-dwt was fixed at $26,000 for redelivery West Coast India. With the export ban of coal from Indonesia being lifted at the end of the week, there remained a substantial amount of prompt tonnage in South East Asia again keeping rates low as the week closed. Further north saw Ultramax size seeing in the low $20,000s for NoPac round voyages. Most eyes are fixed on the upcoming week to see if a change in direction will take place.

Handysize

Another week of negativity with a lack of fresh enquiry in most areas. Period activity was limited but a 38,000-dwt open Japan fixed three to five months trading redelivery worldwide at $25,000 whilst from South East Asia a 34,000-dwt again fixed three to five months trading at $21,000. In the Atlantic, a 38,000-dwt open Skaw fixed via the Baltic to North Coast South America at $17,500. A 33,000-dwt open Denmark fixed from La Pallice to Abidjan with an intended cargo of wheat at $20,000. A 39,000-dwt open in Karmoy fixed a trip to West Coast India-Arabian Gulf range at 27,500. A 28,000-dwt fixed from the Black Sea to East Coast Central America at $17,000 with an intended cargo of steels. A 39,000-dwt open in the US Gulf was fixed to the Continent with an intended cargo of wood pellets at $23,000. From Asia a 33,000-dwt open China was linked to a trip via Australia redelivery Arabian Gulf at $19,000.
Source: The Baltic Exchange

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