Dry Bulk Market: Capesizes Still Under Pressure, While Smaller Classes Improve
Vale’s ongoing absence from the Brazil spot market continued to have a negative impact on sentiment, with rates falling in all areas. There were operators still shipping from Brazil, with the rate from Tubarao to China hovering around the mid $12.00s for end March. Rates for Brazil/Continent runs also slumped, with a 180,000-tonne, 10% cargo, fixed from Itaguai to Rotterdam at $4.50 for 26-29 March. Further north, tonnage remained relatively limited, but the bearish tone remained pervasive, with an eco 179,000-tonner coming from Cape Passero and fixing from Gibraltar for a Colombia/Turkey run at something over $6,500, plus a $70,000 bonus. In Asia, the West Australia/China rate held over $5.00 for most of the week, but fell to $4.80 for 9-11 March, and slightly more for later dates. However, a 169,000-tonne 2010-built vessel was booked retroactive 19 February for an East Coast Australia round at $5,000. There were still period takers, with operators still there and a 179,000-tonner booked for around a year at 107% of the Baltic Capesize Index (BCI) 5-timecharter.
Last week saw pockets of improvement and sentiment is now optimistic. The Pacific was mainly driven by North Pacific and Indonesian demand. A very well described JMU Kamsarmax was fixed at $10,500 daily for a North Pacific round voyage, with most other trades now being bid up on last done. South African coal demand continued its recent upturn in volume, which has helped the South American market. A 2009-built Panamax vessel covered on subjects at $13,350 plus $350,000 ballast bonus at the end of the week was up from around $12,000 plus $200,000 ballast bonus the previous week. The North Atlantic continued to struggle, with a lengthy tonnage list for transatlantic business, but fronthaul rates also increased via North Coast South America. With improved sentiment and increasing paper values, period fixing was again prevalent, with one-year fixtures again emerging at between $11,000 and $11,500 on Kamsarmaxes.
It was a more active week on the period front, with a 60,000-dwt vessel, fixed delivery Indonesia, for a short period in the $13,000s. From the Atlantic, a 55,000-dwt ship fixed delivery Fortaleza for 7-10 months, trading with redelivery Atlantic and Singapore-Japan at $12,000. Improved numbers were discussed from East Coast South America and a 63,000-dwt vessel fixed for an upriver trip to the Mediterranean at around $12,250. However, the US Gulf lost ground and a 61,000-tonner went delivery Houston to Spain at $11,000. There were steady rates from the Continent, as a 53,000-dwt ship fixed a scrap cargo to the East Mediterranean in the $9,000s. Increased activity from the Asian market pushed levels up. A 58,000-dwt vessel open Singapore fixed a trip via Indonesia, redelivery China, at $12,500. For India direction, a 60,500-tonner was booked delivery Singapore, via Indonesia, redelivery West Coast India, at $11,250. There was limited activity from the Indian Ocean, although a 61,400-dwt ship fixed delivery to the Arabian Gulf, end February, for a trip redelivery India at $8,250.
Overall the index remained in positive territory this week, with improved activity from both basins. Coincidentally, most of the fixture information gathered this week was at the level of $8,000, regardless of the route, in both the Atlantic and Pacific. From East Coast South America, a 35,000-dwt vessel was fixed for moving coils to Marmara at $9,250. A 38,000 tonner was fixed from the Caribbean, with redelivery on the Continent, at a rate in the $8,000s. A scrap cargo was said to have been concluded at a similar level on a Handysize vessel from the Continent to the East Mediterranean. Another 38,000-dwt ship with Jamaica delivery was reportedly fixed at $8,500 for a trip to Norway. In the East, more activity was reported, with positive sentiment driving up the mood. Brokers suggested better numbers were discussed, but few fixtures came to light including period deals. From the Persian Gulf, a 35,000-dwt vessel open Port Khalifa was booked for a trip with sulphur to East Coast India at $8,500.
Source: The Baltic Briefing