Dry Bulk Market: Pessimism Still the Norm
Activity in the Capesize market had the 5TC pushing in value over a few days in midweek. However, pessimism prevailed as the rates dropped down to close the week -895, settling at $12,807. Some chatter in the market expects an improvement in rates to end the year, although this is yet to eventuate. Charterers out of Brazil and the Atlantic were constantly seen to lower past last done, while market cargoes are said to be dwindling in the region. The Transatlantic C8 commands a premium over the Transpacific C10 yet the gap narrowed significantly this week as they stand at $16,889 and $12,636 respectively. Flurries of West Australia to China C5 fixing was heard midweek. The reasoning behind the activity was not heard – although miners were noticeably quieter in the later part of the week. Coming closer to the Christmas period owners will be very aware of the potential seasonal low period that looms in Q1. On more than one occasion this period has surprised with reasonable activity. However, all are likely preparing for more of the same from this market unless some fresh stimulus is forthcoming.
The Panamax market sell-off continued in a similar vein to the previous week, with all sector indices continuing to lose ground. Activity in the north Atlantic – particularly mineral trades – were minimal. Meanwhile, activity from South America to the Far East confined mostly for end November arrivals. Rates hovered in the region of $18,000 and $800,000, and $19,000 and $900,000 for 82,000-dwt types. This returned very much a positional market. In the Pacific, traded volumes were relatively thin for the longer trips NoPac. Trips to Japan returned a mixture of rates but ended softer overall. A glut of fixing ex Indonesian to China was witnessed midweek, predominantly on smaller/older type tonnage at discounted levels. It was low teens for the first half of the week, but closer to $10,000 and edging lower by week end. Period fixing remained scarce, but there were reports midweek of an 82,000-dwt concluding at $17,000 for four to six months.
A rather poor week for the sector as pressure remained in many areas with a lack of fresh cargo and a build-up of tonnage. This was particularly seen in the Asian arena with little fresh enquiry from Indonesia, whilst further north charterers remained firmly in the driving seat. Little period activity surfaced, although a 58,000-dwt open Baltic was fixed for four to six months trading redelivery worldwide at $16,500. A 60,000-dwt open Kosichang also fixed for 16 to 18 months trading at $13,250. As the week progressed, in the Atlantic the only bright spot was the US Gulf with increased demand. A 63,000-dwt fixing a trip to China at $30,000. Further north, a 56,000-dwt was fixed from US east coast to Continent-UK at $23,000. From Asia there was little joy. On the backhaul runs a supramax was heard to have fixed a trip from China to the Mediterranean in the mid $8,000s. From the south a 58,000-dwt fixed delivery South China trip via Indonesia redelivery Thailand at $8,000.
Like the larger sisters the Handy sector also lost traction generally, although some felt that the Asian arena may have found a plateau. Little excitement on the period front, but a 38,000-dwt open Mediterranean was heard to have fixed one year at $14,500 at the beginning of the week. The Atlantic lacked fresh impetus. From South America, a 37,000-dwt was heard fixed delivery Santos for a Transatlantic run to the East Mediterranean at $21,000. Also, a 38,000-dwt fixed delivery Pecem to the US Gulf at $24,250. Elsewhere, a 37,000-dwt fixed from the Continent to the Mediterranean at $12,000. From Asia, a 38,000-dwt was heard fixed delivery Singapore trip via Australia redelivery Far East in the mid $9,000s. From the Indian Ocean region a 37,000-dwt fixed delivery Damman trip to South Africa at $13,000. Eyes were firmly fixed on the upcoming week to see if this trend continues.
Source: The Baltic Exchange