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Dry Bulk Market: Positive Signs Are Starting to Emerge

Capesize

The Capesize market was in a ‘one step forward, two steps back’ mode this week. The average of the 5 time charter routes eventually settled at $12,598, a decline of $775 week-on-week. Despite tightness in both basins, especially for December cancelling in the north Atlantic region, limited transatlantic or fronthaul cargoes were circulated in the market. Some brokers felt it was quieter compared with the same period last year. For Brazil loading, views on the ‘next done’ largely differed due to a mixed spread. Vessels that can make mid-December dates in Brazil were paid higher, but again lacked cargo support. The relevant C3 route was priced at $19.006 to end the week. In the Pacific, the west Australia to Qingdao trade remained active throughout the week, closing at $8.98 per metric ton on Friday and showing $13,518 per day on the China-Japan transpacific round voyage.

Panamax

Overall, it was a positive week for the Panamax market with the Atlantic routes the most prominent risers. This was largely led by solid grain and mineral demand from the usual loading origins. $24,000 was the highlight, agreed by an 82,000-dwt delivery passing Gibraltar for a trip via US Gulf redelivery Singapore-Japan. In Asia, it was a very positional market with early dates ex NoPac commanding premium rates for the most part. However, it did return a week of minor gains. $15,000 was the highest reported rate on an 82,000-dwt delivery Korea for a NoPac round trip with sulphur, which explained the premium rate somewhat. A tough week for the coal rates ex Indonesia with smaller/older units discounting. However, we end the week on a slightly firmer footing with much of the nearby tonnage covered coupled with some much-needed Australia demand. Some limited period activity included an 85,000-dwt delivery Japan achieving a rate of $15,500 for a one-year period.

Ultramax/Supramax

A rather uninspiring week for the sector with no significant movements. The Atlantic generally was seen as rather positional, certainly from key areas such as the US Gulf, whilst the South Atlantic lacked fresh impetus. From Asia a more balanced week was seen with no clear direction. At the start there were good volumes of fresh enquiry in the south, but as the week closed this had abated. From the north there were better levels of enquiry from NoPac and talk of a greater amount of backhaul cargo, but again rates generally remained flat. Period activity was limited but a 63,000-dwt open China was heard to have fixed a short period at $11,500. From the Atlantic, a 63,000-dwt fixed from the US Gulf for a trip to Turkey at $21,500. Further south, a 57,000-dwt fixed delivery Recalada for a trip to Morocco at $20,000. From Asia, a 53,000-dwt open South China fixed via Indonesia to China at $7,000.

Handysize

A week encapsulated by a lack of activity saw the BHSI continue to slowly fall. East Coast South America stood out as one of the more active sectors and a 35,000-dwt fixed delivery Upriver Plate for a trip to Tunisia with an intended cargo of grains at $26,000. A 38,000-dwt fixed from Vila Do Conde to Norway with an intended cargo of Alumina at $20,000. A 33,000-dwt open in Itjaja was fixed via Santos to the Continent at a rate rumoured to be in the low $20,000 – but some thought it was lower. Asia was described as balanced by sources for the majority of the week, but had shown some signs of possible improvements going forward. A Large handy open in CJK was rumoured to have been fixed earlier in the week for a trip via Australia to China at $9,000. And, as the week closed, a 38,000-dwt was rumoured to have seen $12,500 for short period.
Source: The Baltic Exchange

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