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Dry Bulk Market: Capesizes Face Headwinds

Capesize

This week, the tailwinds turned to headwinds for the Capesize market as a dip in values amongst bearish sentiment was evident for most regions. The Pacific Ocean trade had the charterers in the driving seat as they often managed to achieve lower than last done fixing levels throughout the week as they encountered ample tonnage options. This was reflected on the C5 West Australia to Qingdao route as it opened the week at $15.05 to close at $11.741, while the Transpacific C10 closed at $19,313. With the driving force of the Pacific basin now waning, the Atlantic region has followed suit. With low spot market cargo levels and tonnage building in the area, the return to lower levels looks likely. The Transatlantic C8 dropped to $22,100 by Friday. Ballaster tonnage for the South Africa and Brazil to Far East trade is heard to be building, coinciding with some sharp drops in the Tubarao to Qingdao C3 route, which now stands at $31.675. Backhaul trade, which has been in hot form lately was quieter this week, while a more standard shorter variant of backhaul trade from South Africa to the Continent was heard fixing at much lower than published levels. This set the bar down considerably lower on the C16 Backhaul route, almost halving the value by week’s end to $17,350.

Panamax

A week of negativity engulfed the Panamax market with all rates falling sharply. Reduced fixing volumes and a build up of tonnage in most origins gave charterers the upper hand and reduced bids consequently became common theme. The Atlantic lacked any real demand both in the North and the South this week. Ballaster tonnage began to show signs of under pinning rates and several APS load port deals were now concluded and being traded. Earlier in the week a 82,000-dwt delivery Gibraltar was able to achieve $29,500 for a transatlantic round via North Coast South America, but such levels were unrepeatable by the end week. Asia began the week with some healthy NoPac demand and an 81,000-dwt delivery Japan achieved a rate of just over $30,000, albeit on a pet coke trip which normally commands a premium. However, rates by the end of the week for standard Australia/NoPac trips were reduced to being traded at closer to $26,000 levels.

Ultramax/Supramax

A rather protracted week as widespread European holidays dimmed activity levels. Sentiment eased in most areas as the week closed. The Atlantic saw limited fresh enquiry from key areas such as the US Gulf whilst further south, East Coast South America remained finally balanced. From Asia, the week started on an optimistic note. However, there was limited fresh enquiry from the south which saw an easing in owners expectations. Further north there was a more positive feel again, but as the week closed this was being eroded. Period activity saw a 63,000-dwt open Jakarta fixing minimum to about six months trading at $36,500. In the Atlantic, a little more activity was seen from the Continent. A 56,000-dwt open Antwerp was heard fixed for trip East Mediterranean at $26,000. Whilst in the Mediterranean a 58,000-dwt open Algeria fixed a trip to West Africa at $29,000. From Asia, a 63,00-dwt open Surabaya was fixed for a trip redelivery China in the mid $30,000s.

Handysize

With holidays in large parts of Europe and many places round the world, activity was limited. In the US Gulf a 36,000-dwt was fixed for a trip to the UK – Continent with an intended cargo of wood pellets at $32,000. A 39,0000-dwt was fixed from Norfolk for a trip to East Coast Mexico with an intended cargo of Coal at $34,000. A 28,000-dwt was fixed for a trip from Istanbul via Bourgas to Tunisia with an intended cargo of grains at $21,250. In Asia a 28,000-dwt was fixed from Matsure for end May delivery via Australia to the Continent at $31,500 and a 38,000-dwt was fixed from China to South Africa with an intended cargo of steels at $38,000. In China period enquiry remained active and a 38,000-dwt had rumoured to have seen low $30,000s for short period but was holding out for higher levels.
Source: The Baltic Exchange

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