Dry Bulk Market: Capesizes End the Week on a High
The Capesize market closed out a generally underwhelming week with positive sentiment and an uptick in the final days with the 5TC lifting +2905 to settle at $29,938. Rates are down week on week and the routes appear to now be oscillating in a trading range. Fundamentals are said to have improved at the later end of the week, but whether they have enough impetus to break above the current upper range is uncertain. In the Atlantic region the Transatlantic C8 now resides at $33,500 to the Transpacific C10 at 31,562. The China-Brazil Ballaster C14 route, meanwhile, continues to lag at $24,582. Iron ore trades out of Brazil to Asia are now fixing quite often for second-half December loading dates as we begin to close out the Q4 season. With iron ore prices plummeting to sub $100 per mt levels, questions are being posed as to the implications for shipping. While a lot of cargo is moved outside of spot markets on longer-term contracts, waning hunger from buyers may begin to take a toll in the coming months – yet Capesize are always anything but clear to forecast.
A week which saw substantial losses in the Panamax market, retracting back to values not seen since April of this year. Resistance from Owners was scarce as tonnage far outweighed demand, resulting in Charterers driving down the bids – especially in the Asian basin. In the Atlantic, rates reduced nigh on $2000 on all routes with little sign of things altering as tonnage lists built and ballasters continued to undermine the market. An 82,000-dwt achieved a vastly reduced rate of $21,500 for a trans-Atlantic trip. With a lack of demand ex Australia – and ultimately EC South America – Kamsarmax’s open SE Asia felt the strain the most. Indonesian coal trips were seen to be massively discounted by the smaller and older units with offers now sub $10,000. With confidence and sentiment little period activity of note although a 79,000dwt delivery North China achieved close to 104% of BPI5TC index for one year.
It has been a very quiet week for the sector with very limited activity across the board. There was resistance shown in the Pacific though largely down to a stand-off between owners and charterers with anything fixed at last done levels or slightly lower. The US Gulf was one area that showed positive signs until the tail end of the week and then the sentiment fell away. And, with a lack of cargoes, the only area of strength looked to be weakening. The larger sizes appear more undervalued in comparison, further eroding the optimism that was briefly felt in the south Atlantic. In the Pacific, despite a wide spread between positions, vessels were being fixed at close to last done. However, it would appear both owners and charterers have looked to a quiet weekend and see what transpires next week. It remains to be seen where the market will head next week. But it was felt Owners might have to wait for any significant improvement in rates.
Another week driven by the negative sentiment in most regions. A 37,000-dwt open in South Korea was fixed for a trip via CIS with redelivery in South Korea – China Range at $17,000. A 38,000-dwt open in Thailand was fixed for a trip to Japan with an intended cargo of gypsum in the high $19,000’s. A 38,000-dwt open in CJK was fixed for a trip via Australia back to China at $18,000. The US Gulf continued to soften with a 38,000-dwt fixing a trip from the Mississippi River to the Caribbean with Agri prods at $32,000 and a 36,000-dwt fixing from Belledune to the UK-Continent with wood pellets at $29,000. On the Continent a 40,000-dwt was fixed from the UK via the Continent to the US Gulf at $38,000. A 38,000-dwt open in Casablanca was fixed for a trip via the Continent to the Caribbean at $32,000.
Source: The Baltic Exchange